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Michael Earl Cornett Sr. (born July 16, 1958) is an American politician and former television personality who served as the 35th mayor of Oklahoma City, from 2004 until 2018. A member of the Republican Party, he was only the fourth mayor in Oklahoma City history to be elected to three terms[2] and the first to be elected to four terms.[3] He also served as President of The United States Conference of Mayors and as national President of the Republican Mayors and Local Officials (RMLO). U.S. Conference of Mayors.[2] He also served as Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Urban Economic Affairs Committee until 2007. He is currently running for the Republican nomination for Governor of Oklahoma in the 2018 election.[4]

Mick Cornett
US Navy 070605-N-8497H-031 Director of Global Operations (J3) United States Strategic Command, Rear Adm. Doug McClain receives the Proclamation from Mayor Mick Cornett, declaring June 1-10 Oklahoma Navy week (cropped).jpg
35th Mayor of Oklahoma City
In office
March 2, 2004 – April 10, 2018
Preceded by Guy Liebmann
Succeeded by David Holt
President of the United States Conference of Mayors
In office
2016–2017
Preceded by Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Succeeded by Mitch Landrieu
Member of the Oklahoma City Council
from Ward 1
In office
2001–2004
Preceded by Frosty Peak
Succeeded by Gary Marrs
Personal details
Born Michael Earl Cornett
(1958-07-16) July 16, 1958 (age 60)[1]
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education University of Oklahoma (BA)
New York University (MBA)

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Cornett is a native of Oklahoma City. He attended Putnam City High School, graduating in 1976.[2] He then attended the University of Oklahoma, earning a journalism degree in television news.[2]

Journalism careerEdit

After graduating, Cornett worked for twenty years in news and sports as a reporter, anchor, and manager in Oklahoma City.[2] 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 councilEdit

Cornett was elected to the Oklahoma City Council in 2001.[2] He defeated the incumbent City Councilman, Frosty Peak.[5]

MayoraltyEdit

 
Cornett with Vice President Dick Cheney in 2007
 
Cornett in 2009

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.[2] In 2014, he became the first mayor to be elected to a fourth term, defeating Ed Shadid with 65.7% of the vote.[3]

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.[6]

Cornett received an MBA, specializing in management, entrepreneurship and leadership, from NYU Stern School of Business in July 2011.[7]

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.[8]

Economic growthEdit

Cornett has been a proponent for urban 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".

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.[2] 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.[9][10][11][12]

MAPS 3Edit

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.[2]

MAPS for KidsEdit

One of Cornett's top priorities was 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 teamsEdit

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,[2] 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.

Leaving on a high noteEdit

One month prior Cornett stepping down as mayor, the City of Oklahoma City received its 8th-straight AAA bond rating from both Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investor Service.[13] Cornett was quoted saying “Our top-notch bond ratings are a reflection of Oklahoma City’s sound financial management, and it’s good news for Oklahoma City’s residents and taxpayers. We understand we have a responsibility to our taxpayers to pursue budgetary practices that allow us to meet or exceed service expectations, and keep our bond ratings high and borrowing costs low.”

The month Cornett left office after 14 years as the mayor leading Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City was named the #1 city in the United States to start a business. The #1 ranking was given to Oklahoma City due to high marks in three different categories: Business Environment, Access to Resources and Business Costs.[14]

Awards and distinctionsEdit

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.[15]

In November 2010, Governing Magazine named Cornett one of their "2010 Public Officials of the Year" and put him on the cover.[16]

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.[17][18]

In 2012, Newsweek named Cornett one of the five most innovative mayors in the United States.[19]

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.[20]

The American Architectural Foundation awarded Cornett the Joseph P Riley Award, for his contributions to Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area Projects, at a gala in Washington, D.C. on March 22, 2013.[21]

Fortune Magazine released their 2018 list of the "World's 50 Greatest Leaders" list on April 19, 2018. Cornett was ranked as the 25th greatest leader in the world, where Fortune gave credit to his fiscal conservative background for the creativity in leading Oklahoma City's advancements in school revitalization, public transit and downtown improvements[22].

The month Cornett left office after 14 years as the mayor leading Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City was named the #1 city in the United States to start a business. The #1 ranking was given to Oklahoma City due to high marks in three different categories: Business Environment, Access to Resources and Business Costs.[14]

Other political activitiesEdit

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.[23]

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.[24]

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.

In 2017, Cornett was appointed to sit on the US DOT's Automation Committee for overseeing self-driving transportation policy.[25][26]

On February 22, 2017, Cornett announced that he would not seek reelection for a fifth term as Oklahoma City mayor.[27]

On May 31, 2017, Cornett announced[28] his 2018 candidacy for governor of Oklahoma via Twitter.[29]

In BusinessEdit

Cornett became a Filmmaker with the release of "Oklahoma City: The Boom, the Bust and the Bomb" in 2016. The film was produced, written and directed by Cornett who describes the documentary as "...a tale of resilience, exploring how Oklahoma City’s turbulent past helped shape its bright, flourishing future."[30] The film takes a look at Oklahoma's history, specifically its economic ups-and-downs with commodities. The focus narrows in on the 25-year period of Oklahoma City history from 1970-1995, which saw the rise of the oil boom in the 1970's, the banking and financial crash of the 1980's and also the physical and emotional effects resulted in the bombing of the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building in 1995.

On September 25, 2018, Penguin Random House will release the first book authored by Cornett, titled The Next American City[31]. The book is described as "An invigorating look at how American cities are reinventing themselves and redirecting the future of the nation by way of civic engagement, inventive public policy, and smart urban design, The Next American City is a look at the changes re-shaping American urban life–and a blueprint for those to come."

Personal lifeEdit

In 2011, Cornett filed for divorce from his wife of 32 years, Lisa, citing "total irreconcilable incompatibility."[32] The couple has three grown sons: Mike, Casey and Tristan.[2] Cornett married his second wife, Terri (Walker) Cornett, on November 26, 2014.[33]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Mick Cornett". newsok.com. June 27, 2004. Retrieved July 16, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k The City of Oklahoma City. Mick Cornett. OKC.gov.
  3. ^ a b Crum, William (March 4, 2014). "Oklahoma City's Mick Cornett wins fourth term as mayor". The Oklahoman. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ http://mick2018.com/
  5. ^ Potts, Gregory (April 13, 2001). "Cornett ready for challenge Former TV news, sports anchor joins city council". The Oklahoman. Retrieved June 13, 2018. 
  6. ^ Cornett conflict of interest charges; rail fans dial Preservation 911, Michael Bates, Bates Line, September 30, 2009
  7. ^ "Mick Cornett Executive MBA 2011". NYU Stern. August 2014. 
  8. ^ http://brunerfoundation.org/rba/index.php?page=committees&sidebar=1
  9. ^ Cauchon, Dennis (August 11, 2009). "Oklahoma City defies recession". USA Today. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ Simon, Scott (October 24, 2009). "What Makes Oklahoma City Recession-Proof?". NPR. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  12. ^ 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 
  13. ^ "News | City of OKC". www.okc.gov. Retrieved 2018-05-09. 
  14. ^ a b Kiernan, John S. "2018's Best Large Cities to Start a Business". WalletHub. Retrieved 2018-05-09. 
  15. ^ "50 Most Powerful Oklahomans". OKC Friday. July 3, 2009. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  16. ^ "2010 Public Officials of the Year". Governing.com. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ Dean, Bryan (December 8, 2010). "OKC Mayor Mick Cornett recognized as second best mayor in the world". The Oklahoman. Retrieved December 8, 2010. 
  19. ^ Avlon, John (December 17, 2012). "Most Innovative Mayors in the U.S." Newsweek. 
  20. ^ The City of Oklahoma City "Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett named 2013 Oklahoma Mayor of the Year". OKC.gov
  21. ^ "GALA 2013 HIGHLIGHT: JOSEPH P. RILEY JR. AWARD HONOREE MAYOR MICK CORNETT OF OKLAHOMA CITY". American Architectural Foundation. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  22. ^ "The World's 50 Greatest Leaders". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-05-09. 
  23. ^ POLITICO. "Fallin leaving the House". Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  24. ^ Casteel, Chris (August 28, 2012). "Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett plugs city's success at Republican National Convention". The Oklahoman. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  25. ^ Kahn, Jordan (2017-01-12). "Apple, GM, Uber, Lyft, Hyperloop & others join U.S. Department of Transportation Automation Committee that will oversee self-driving vehicles". Electrek. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  26. ^ "USDOT Announces New Federal Committee on Automation". Department of Transportation. 2017-01-11. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  27. ^ Crum, William (February 22, 2017). "Mick Cornett says he will not seek re-election as mayor of Oklahoma City". The Oklahoman. 
  28. ^ "Mick Cornett on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-05-09. 
  29. ^ Cornett, Mick [@@MickCornett] (31 May 2017). ""Next week I'll be filing the papers and making it official that I'll be a candidate for Governor. Our work is just..."" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 June 2017 – via Twitter. 
  30. ^ "OKCmovie.com | Home Page". okcmovie.com. Retrieved 2018-05-09. 
  31. ^ The Next American City by Mick Cornett, Jayson White | PenguinRandomHouse.com. 
  32. ^ Dean, Bryan (January 5, 2011). "Oklahoma City mayor files for divorce". The Oklahoman. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett gets married in Tulsa today". Tulsa World. November 26, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 

External linksEdit

Civic offices
Preceded by
Frosty Peak
Member of the Oklahoma City Council
from Ward 1

2001–2004
Succeeded by
Gary Marrs
Political offices
Preceded by
Guy Liebmann
Mayor of Oklahoma City
2004–2018
Succeeded by
David Holt
Preceded by
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
President of the United States Conference of Mayors
2016–2017
Succeeded by
Mitch Landrieu