OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Republican state Sen. David Holt was elected Oklahoma City mayor on Tuesday in a three-way race to become the first new mayor of Oklahoma’s largest city in 14 years.
Voters in the Oklahoma Panhandle and the far northwestern part of the state also elected a new state senator, Casey Murdock, a Republican who has been serving as a state representative.
In the race for mayor, the 38-year-old Holt received 79 percent of the vote in the nonpartisan primary election to defeat Democrat Randall Smith and independent Taylor Neighbors. Holt will replace Oklahoma City’s longest-serving mayor, Mick Cornett.
Cornett, a past president of the United States Conference of Mayors who has served as mayor since 2004, decided not to seek re-election and is a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor.
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Holt, an attorney who served as Cornett’s chief of staff from 2006 to 2010, will be sworn into a four-year term as mayor in April. He is in his second term in the Legislature and has represented parts of northwestern Oklahoma City in the state Senate since 2010. From 2002 to 2004, Holt served in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs under President George W. Bush.
Holt has said that one of his top priorities as mayor would be investments in police and fire protection.
The mayor is one of nine members of the Oklahoma City Council.
In the state Senate race, Murdock, of Felt, Oklahoma, received 68 percent of the vote to defeat Democratic businesswoman Amber Jensen in a general election for the District 27 seat.
Murdock, elected to a seat in the Oklahoma House in 2014, defeated five other candidates for the GOP nomination during a special primary election in December. Jensen, of Woodward, Oklahoma, was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
Jensen, a former chair of the Woodward County Democratic Party, owns and operates a remodeling and construction business with her husband, Brian Jensen.
A rancher from northwestern Oklahoma, Murdock’s family settled in what became Oklahoma before statehood. Murdock farms and runs a cow-calf operation in Felt, which is in southwestern Cimarron County.
The seat was left vacant following the resignation of Republican Sen. Bryce Marlatt of Woodward in September. Marlatt stepped down after he was accused of grabbing an Uber driver’s head and kissing her neck and shoulder after being picked up from a restaurant in Oklahoma City. Marlatt has pleaded not guilty to a sexual battery charge.