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Oklahoma City's race for a new mayor: David Holt

David Holt. (KOKH/PHil Cross)

Oklahoma City will have a new mayor for the first time in fourteen years, but who will it be? Early voting started Thursday for the mayoral election which features State Senator David Holt, OU Junior Taylor Neighbors, and Randall Smith.

We’ve previously profiled political newcomer Taylor Neighbors.

The front-runner in the mayoral race is Senator David Holt, who has been campaigning for mayor for much of the past year.

“I'm very passionate about public service that's all I’ve done throughout my whole career,” Holt told FOX 25, “I worked at the White House, I was chief of staff to Mayor Cornett, I've been in the senate and now I'm running for mayor. So I love Oklahoma, I love Oklahoma City.”

Holt, one of the more moderate voices in the state senate, announced he would not seek re-election even though he was not term limited yet. His desire was to go back to city hall to replace his former boss.

“To me, cities are the chief economic engines of the future,” Holt said, “I think mayors are the new governors and I think Oklahoma City and Tulsa are 90% of what has been positive about the state the last 20 years; I think it is extremely critical who the mayor is.”

Holt wants to be the person setting city's agenda and while he does not see a departure to the policies that have led to the city’s rapid growth over the past decade, he does want to push for more.

“Yes, we've come so far so fast that it is easy to pat ourselves on the back and say that we've arrived. But look at the Amazon second headquarters selection process,” Holt said, “We didn't make that final list and i don't think anybody expected us to but why?”

Holt says one of his points of pride is his list of endorsements for mayor, which come from across party lines and across the varied cultural landscape of Oklahoma City. Holt says as his campaign has progressed he has seen all parts of the city which has led him to focus on diversity as part of his campaign platform.

“We have a thriving Latino community an African American community Southside in general, millennials, none of those groups really have a seat at the leadership table.”

In addition, Holt also plans to focus on core services, such as police, fire and infrastructure. He has also pledged to work with city leaders and state lawmakers to find ways to improve education.

We've made attempts to contact the third candidate for mayor, Randall Smith, but we've not heard back from him about participating in these candidate profiles. You can find our profile on candidate Taylor Neighbors here.

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