Commissioner Maughan, Council Member Stonecipher also consider running for mayor.
Patrick B. McGuigan, editor
State Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, announced his candidacy for mayor this week. He is the likely front-runner in the race to succeed incumbent Mayor Mike Cornett, who announced last week he would not seek reelection (see our separate story focused on Holt).
However, three others are looking at the race. One has experience in running city-wide, another has been on the ballot in one-third of the county, and the third is a member of the council.
Ward 2 Oklahoma City Council member Ed Shadid conducted a spirited campaign for the city’s top job in 2014, losing to Cornett as the incumbent gained a record-setting fourth term.
Some local activists hope Shadid will run for the top job again, while others encourage him to continue serving as a progressive voice at the council level. Dr. Shadid won reelection to his current position easily after the challenging mayoral race.
During his tenure on the Council, Dr. Shadid has conducted a range of well-attended town halls and public forums. Those meetings have focused substantively on diverse issues, including Tax Increment Financing (TIF) mechanisms, the ‘PlanOKC’ vision document for local development, water policy, transit, health care, urban sprawl and downtown economic development (including the convention center and hotel).
Shadid has spoken widely across the metropolitan area, advocating for broader understanding of addiction issues. An Arab American, Shadid was born and raised in Oklahoma. He has run the Spine Center of Oklahoma since 2002. He is the father of three children.
Shadid was honored by The Referral Center (TRC) in 2014 for sharing widely his inspiring life story of overcoming drug addition. Shadid has been at the center of a social movement, led, The City Sentinel reported at the time, by “advocacy and recovery groups, and strongly supported by allies in the broader community.”
Shadid has also been a voice in support of better mental health services.
In his 2014 race for mayor, Dr. Shadid said he ran because “it’s been so long since we’ve had a real conversation about the issues and a hard fought campaign for mayor.” He has been critical of, but not opposed in every case to, tax-financed business incentive programs. During that mayoral contest, he explained his view this way:
“The only time that I believe tax dollars should be used is to create something that would not have happened, without the incentive. If it would have happened anyway, then I cannot support it.”
The City Sentinel endorsed Shadid in that mayoral race.
The next year a trio of hopefuls lined up to challenge Shadid in the Ward 2 race. In his reelection campaign, he stressed his record on the council, including advocacy for infrastructure improvements, support for law enforcement and firefighters, and environmental protection.
The City Sentinel endorsed Dr. Shadid in that successful 2015 campaign for a second term at city hall.
Shadid presently serves on the local Environmental Assistance Trust, Municipal Facilities Authority, Public Property Authority and City Finance Committee, and he is chairman of the Neighborhood Conservation Committee. Involved in a range of local causes, Shadid is a consistent advertiser in the “elected officials” page of The City Sentinel.
Dr. Shadid was recently one of speakers at Church of the Open Arms honoring Bob Lemon, praising the late philanthropist for unmatched generosity to a range of local causes, and for the model of his life.
Last week, after Cornett announced he would not seek reelection, a reflective Shadid said he believed Mayor Cornett’s fourth term has been his best.
Already in the race is Commissioner Brian Maughan, who represents one-third of the state’s largest county, including parts of Oklahoma City. Ward 8 Oklahoma City Council member Mark Stonecipher is also looking at the contest, according to news stories.
The city’s next mayor will preside over implementation of infrastructure improvements expected through a major local bond issue – and might also guide, with the rest of the Council, another “MAPs” (Metropolitan Area Projects) drive.