Mick Cornett

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Mick Cornett
Mick Cornett (cropped).jpg
Cornett in 2010
36th Mayor of Oklahoma City
Assumed office
March 2, 2004
Preceded by Guy Liebmann (Interim Mayor)
Member of the Oklahoma City Council
from Ward 1
In office
Succeeded by Gary Marrs
Personal details
Born (1958-07-16) July 16, 1958 (age 58)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Oklahoma (BA)
New York University (MBA)

Mick Cornett (born July 16, 1958) is the current mayor of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, having served in that position since 2004. He is only the fourth mayor in Oklahoma City history to be elected to three terms[1] and the first to be elected to four terms.[2] He also serves as President of The United States Conference of Mayors and served as national President of the Republican Mayors and Local Officials (RMLO). U.S. Conference of Mayors.[1] He also served as Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Urban Economic Affairs Committee until 2007. He is a Republican.

Early life[edit]

Cornett is a native of Oklahoma City. He attended Putnam City High School, graduating in 1976.[1] He then attended the University of Oklahoma, earning a journalism degree in TV news.[1]

Journalism career[edit]

After graduating, Cornett worked for twenty years in news and sports as a reporter, anchor, and manager in Oklahoma City.[1] As a reporter, he covered city politics from 1997 to 1999. In 1999 he started his own video production company, Mick Cornett Video Productions, specializing in jobs for the corporate and legal sectors. Cornett is the co-host of The Verdict, a local Oklahoma City television show discussing legal and social issues.

City council[edit]

Cornett was elected to the Oklahoma City Council in 2001.[1]


Cornett became the Mayor of Oklahoma City on 2 March 2004. He was re-elected to a second term on 7 March 2006 by an 87.6% margin, the largest in city history. In 2010, he became only the fourth mayor in Oklahoma City history to be elected to a third term, defeating Steve Hunt by gaining 58% of the vote.[1] In 2014, he became the first mayor to be elected to a fourth term, defeating Ed Shadid with 65.7% of the vote.[2]

Cornett served as an Executive Vice President of Ackerman McQueen from 2009 to 2011, during which the Oklahoma Ad Club named him 2010's "Ad Man of the Year." Cornett came in for some criticism for potential conflict of interest as a mayor serving as an employee of a private corporation.[3]

Cornett received an MBA, specializing in management, entrepreneurship and leadership, from NYU Stern School of Business in July 2011.[4]

Cornett's most notable achievements as Mayor include the successful lobbying that resulted in Oklahoma City's first major league sports team, the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association, and the passage of MAPS 3, a $777 million quality-of-life infrastructure program for Oklahoma City.

In 2013, Cornett served as one of six selection committee members for the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence.[5]

Economic growth[edit]

Cornett is a proponent for progressive issues/initiatives such as rapid and mass transit, economic diversification, urban renaissance, and civic beautification.[citation needed] Neighborhoods such as Asia District, Uptown, MidTown, Capitol Hill, the Eastside, and others have experienced an economic revitalization during his tenure.

Downtown Oklahoma City has experienced a continued renaissance since 1993, earning Oklahoma City the moniker "Renaissance City". Among many successful ventures, the historic Skirvin Hotel was renovated and reopened under the Hilton banner in February 2007 after nearly two decades of abandonment.[6]

In June 2007, the U.S. Census announced its estimate that Oklahoma City had grown in city population to over 547,000 residents; over 1.26 percent between July 2005 and July 2006. Since the official Census in 2000, Oklahoma City had grown over eight percent according to the Census Bureau, making it the 12th fastest-growing large city (over 500,000 in population) in the United States.

Other recent initiatives have also included his chairmanship of the "Core to Shore" committee of city leaders, and continued job growth in greater Oklahoma City. Led by almost 2,000 jobs that Dell brought to Oklahoma City, the greater Oklahoma City area gained over 72,000 new jobs in Cornett's first five years in office.[1] During the Great Recession, compared to other metropolitan areas in the United States, Oklahoma City had one of the lowest unemployment rates, suffered one of the least severe economic downturns, and experienced one of the largest recoveries afterward.[7][8][9][10]

MAPS 3[edit]

In December 2009, Cornett led the way to successful voter passage of the MAPS 3 initiative, which includes eight quality-of-life capital projects to be constructed in Oklahoma City over a decade.[1]

MAPS for Kids[edit]

One of Cornett's top priorities has been the implementation of MAPS for Kids.[citation needed] That initiative is responsible for rebuilding or renovating every building in the inner-city school district.

NBA teams[edit]

Cornett is widely credited with bringing the National Basketball Association to Oklahoma City when Hurricane Katrina forced the New Orleans Hornets to relocate in 2005. Cornett's behind-the-scenes work prior to Katrina put Oklahoma City in position to become the temporary home. For two seasons, the team played 35 games annually at the Ford Center.

On December 20, 2007, Cornett announced an initiative to renovate Ford Center in hopes of securing an NBA team. The initiative went to the voters of Oklahoma City on March 4, 2008 and passed by a 62% margin. On July 2, 2008, it became official that the NBA's SuperSonics franchise, headed by local businessman Clay Bennett, were relocating to Oklahoma City for the 2008–2009 season.

"This City Is Going On A Diet"[edit]

Inspired by his own 42-pound weight loss,[1] on December 31, 2007, Cornett put Oklahoma City on a "diet", launching the web site thiscityisgoingonadiet.com. He appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote the initiative on January 17, 2008. He also teamed up with Taco Bell and local restaurants to promote healthy menu choices. This initiative garnered Cornett an invitation to sit with First Lady Michelle Obama at the 2010 State of the Union address.

Awards and distinctions[edit]

In 2009, he was named one of the top 10 most powerful Oklahomans by the Oklahoma City Friday newspaper, ranking ahead of the state's two U.S. Senators.[11]

In November 2010, Governing Magazine named Cornett one of their "2010 Public Officials of the Year" and put him on the cover.[12]

Also in 2010, he was named runner-up of the World Mayor prize, and also the recipient of the World Mayor Project's 2010 World Mayor Commendation, in recognition of the economic and civic progress of Oklahoma City.[13][14]

In 2012, Newsweek named Cornett one of the five most innovative mayors in the United States.[15]

Cornett was the recipient of the 2013 Oklahoma Mayor of the Year Award, presented by the Mayors Council of Oklahoma of the Oklahoma Municipal League.[16]

Other political activities[edit]

On May 11, 2006, Cornett announced that he would be running to fill the seat in the United States House of Representatives vacated by Ernest Istook. On August 22, 2006, he faced Lt. Governor Mary Fallin in a GOP run-off election. Fallin won, and was elected to Congress in the general election.

Following Fallin's decision to run for governor in 2010, Cornett was widely considered a possible candidate for the seat, but he decided to run for re-election as mayor.[17]

In 2008, Cornett was scheduled to address the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, but his speech was canceled when reaction to Hurricane Gustav suspended the convention. He returned and addressed the 2012 Republican National Convention.[18]

In 2010, Cornett's Chief of Staff, David Holt, was elected to the Oklahoma Senate. In 2012, Holt authored the book Big League City: Oklahoma City's Rise to the NBA, which chronicled Cornett's efforts to bring the NBA to Oklahoma City.

Personal life[edit]

In 2011, Cornett filed for divorce from his wife of 32 years, Lisa, citing "total irreconcilable incompatibility."[19] The couple has three grown sons: Mike, Casey and Tristan.[1] Cornett married his second wife, Terri (Walker) Cornett, on November 26, 2014.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k The City of Oklahoma City. Mick Cornett, Mayor of Oklahoma City. OKC.gov.
  2. ^ a b Crum, William (March 4, 2014). "Oklahoma City's Mick Cornett wins fourth term as mayor". The Oklahoman. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ Cornett conflict of interest charges; rail fans dial Preservation 911, Michael Bates, Bates Line, September 30, 2009
  4. ^ "Mick Cornett Executive MBA 2011". NYU Stern. August 2014. 
  5. ^ http://brunerfoundation.org/rba/index.php?page=committees&sidebar=1
  6. ^ "Historic Oklahoma City Hotel reopens after $55M renovation". USA Today. February 26, 2007. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ Cauchon, Dennis (August 11, 2009). "Oklahoma City defies recession". USA Today. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Oklahoma City has Lowest Unemployment Rate in Nation 6 of 10 Months since Recession was Declared in September". GreaterOklahomaCity.com. August 4, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  9. ^ Simon, Scott (October 24, 2009). "What Makes Oklahoma City Recession-Proof?". NPR. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  10. ^ Wial, Howard (January 4, 2013), "Metropolitan Economies in the Great Recession and After", Annual Meeting (DOCX), Allied Social Science Associations/Labor and Employment Relations Association 
  11. ^ "50 Most Powerful Oklahomans". OKC Friday. July 3, 2009. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  12. ^ "2010 Public Officials of the Year". Governing.com. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  13. ^ vom Hove, Tamm (December 7, 2010). "Marcelo Ebrard, Mayor of Mexico City awarded the 2010 World Mayor Prize". worldmayor.com. World Mayor Project. Retrieved December 8, 2010. 
  14. ^ Dean, Bryan (December 8, 2010). "OKC Mayor Mick Cornett recognized as second best mayor in the world". The Oklahoman. Retrieved December 8, 2010. 
  15. ^ Avlon, John (December 17, 2012). "Most Innovative Mayors in the U.S.". Newsweek. 
  16. ^ The City of Oklahoma City "Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett named 2013 Oklahoma Mayor of the Year". OKC.gov
  17. ^ POLITICO. "Fallin leaving the House". Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  18. ^ Casteel, Chris (August 28, 2012). "Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett plugs city's success at Republican National Convention". The Oklahoman. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  19. ^ Dean, Bryan (January 5, 2011). "Oklahoma City mayor files for divorce". The Oklahoman. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett gets married in Tulsa today". Tulsa World. November 26, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Kirk Humphreys
Mayor of Oklahoma City