Sen. David Holt (R-OKC) has been elected as Oklahoma City’s next mayor. He will succeed Mayor Mick Cornett, for whom Holt served as chief of staff from 2006 to 2010. Cornett is running for governor.
Holt, 38, will become the youngest mayor of Oklahoma City since 1923, according to information provided by his campaign. He will be sworn into office April 10.
He defeated two challengers, Taylor Neighbors and Randall Smith. Neighbors’ campaign efforts included a series of Facebook live videos that drew attention online. Smith was less active, with a thread of 26 comments on an OU Daily article standing as one of his more thorough campaign explanations.
With all 234 districts reporting, Holt finished with 20,409 votes (78.5 percent) to Neighbors’ 3,242 votes (13.3 percent) and Smith’s 2,138 votes (8.2 percent).
Holt hosted his election night watch party at the First National Center downtown during the Oklahoma City Thunder game. He is offered remarks at 10 p.m. following the game, praising MAPS projects and the city’s progress.
“Just because we’ve come so far so fast, we can’t imagine there’s nothing left to do,” Holt said.
He listed education, streets, public safety, jobs and “incorporating diversity in our city” as ongoing Oklahoma City challenges.
“These are issues we will face together as one OKC,” Holt said.
Holt’s election means the Oklahoma Legislature will be down another lawmaker after his April inauguration, although a special election would be avoided with 2018 as an election year already.
Holt’s looming exit from the Oklahoma Senate will leave the Legislature’s upper chamber with only five total attorneys, only four of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee. That means fewer than half of the judicial committee’s members have formal legal training.
Rep. Casey Murdock to become Sen. Casey Murdock
Also Tuesday, Rep. Casey Murdock (R-Felt) defeated Democratic challenger Amber Jensen for a state senate seat in northwestern Oklahoma. Murdock, who lives closer to the New Mexico state Capitol than the Oklahoma Capitol, received 68 percent of the vote in one of the state’s most Republican areas. Senate District 27 includes the state’s nine most northwestern counties and was vacated by the resignation of former Sen. Bryce Marlatt last year.
Murdock voted against the Step Up Oklahoma primary revenue bill Monday evening. After he is sworn into his Senate seat, Murdock will leave a vacancy in House District 61, which will also be filled in the 2018 election cycle.
(Update: This post was updated at 10:07 p.m. to include final vote totals and remarks from Holt.)