OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City voters chose David Holt as their next Mayor in Tuesday’s primary election.
Mayor-elect Holt earned a majority of the votes in Tuesday’s primary, so a runoff general election is unnecessary. He will be sworn in as Mayor on April 10, and then preside over that morning’s Oklahoma City Council meeting.
The Mayor is one of nine members of the Oklahoma City Council. The other members represent each of Oklahoma City’s eight Wards.
The Council is nonpartisan and members serve part-time at the head of the City’s Council-Manager form of government. The Mayor’s annual salary is $24,000, and Council members’ annual salary is $12,000.
Mayor-elect Holt will succeed current Mayor Mick Cornett, who didn’t seek re-election after four terms.
Mayor-elect Holt is a two-term state senator representing much of northwest Oklahoma City, but Article IV, Section 8 of the City Charter requires him to no longer hold that office while serving as Mayor. He’s an Oklahoma City native, an executive at an investment company and a former City employee who served for five years as Mayor Cornett’s chief of staff.
The election result is unofficial until certified by local county election boards.
David Holt of Oklahoma City (now Mayor-elect Holt) represented the 30th Senate District since 2010.
In the Senate, David was a diligent legislator focused on the most important issues facing Oklahoma families. He has authored 72 pieces of legislation that have become law, and has been especially noted for his persistent work to improve government transparency, his efforts to increase voter participation, and his legislation supporting women, children, economic growth, and public education.
His dynamic record in the Senate caused Chuck Todd of NBC News to name David a “Rising Star” in Oklahoma politics. His dedication to Oklahoma City caused him to be named “OKCityan of the Year” in 2017.
Born and raised in Oklahoma City, David’s roots are deep. The son of a teacher and a social worker, he is a fourth-generation Oklahoman and an alumnus of Putnam City Schools, which he attended from kindergarten until his graduation as a National Merit Scholar.
David is managing director of investor relations at Hall Capital, is a licensed attorney, and has served as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University. He is also the author of the 2012 book Big League City: Oklahoma City’s Rise to the NBA.
David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from George Washington University, where he was an award-winning sportswriter. He also holds a Juris Doctor from the Oklahoma City University School of Law.
David and his wife Rachel, COO of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, married in 2003. They have two children, George and Margaret. The Holts are members of St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church. David is a member of the Osage Nation.
David was elected to the Senate on July 27, 2010 with 64 percent of the vote in the Republican primary and was unopposed in the general election. He took office on November 16, 2010. His 2014 re-election to a second term was unopposed.
On his first day in office, David was elected to Senate leadership, serving first as Vice Chair of the Majority Caucus and then as a Majority Whip.
He currently serves as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety & Judiciary. He also serves on the General Government, Judiciary, Appropriations, and Energy committees. He also serves on the Oklahoma Compensation and Unclassified Positions Review Board, the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision, and the Occupational Licensing Task Force. In the past, he has served as Chair and Vice Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Select Agencies, Vice Chair of the Business and Commerce Committee, and Vice Chair of the Redistricting Committee, responsible for Central Oklahoma. He also served on the Joint Legislative Water Committee.
The author of 72 pieces of legislation that have become law, some of David’s specific legislative highlights include:
• Legislation that benefitted consumers by legalizing “Black Friday” and other low price sales
• Legislation to dramatically increase government transparency
• Legislation to combat Oklahoma’s domestic violence crisis
• Legislation that created a new state savings account that will combat future state budget shortfalls
• Legislation that required employment by able-bodied adults without dependents who receive food stamps
• Legislation to reform the criminal justice system
• Legislation to allow Oklahomans to choose a REAL ID license if they prefer
• Legislation to extend the statute of limitations for sex crimes perpetrated against children
• Legislation to allow alcohol to be served in movie theaters
• Legislation to strengthen the sex offender registry and protect Oklahoma families
• Legislation that created a statewide program for criminals to clean up and rehabilitate neighborhoods
• Legislation that created a secure, online system through which Oklahomans could register to vote
• Legislation that ensured the use of police body cameras and accessibility of videos to the public
• Legislation that criminalized the destructive act known as “revenge porn”
• Legislation that reformed the civil asset forfeiture process to benefit those who have had their assets unjustly seized
David has also been a champion for economic growth in Oklahoma, having notched one of the most pro-business voting records in the Legislature. David has also been a champion of more transparency in the legislative process, better public schools, higher teacher pay, and higher voter participation.
David has also used the bully pulpit of his position to bring attention to important events, people, and places, especially in Oklahoma City. He led a successful effort to place a portrait of Ralph Ellison in the Capitol, and he also spearheaded the state’s first official recognition of Hanukkah. He also organized a project to place signage marking Route 66 throughout Oklahoma City. David has also carried resolutions in the Senate to recognize events like Oklahoma City’s 125th birthday, the centennial of Jim Thorpe’s 1912 Olympics, the 50th anniversary of Oklahoma’s first African American Senator, the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, and the annual winner of the Jim Thorpe Award. In 2016, David also played a critical role in securing the filming of the hit NBC television show “American Ninja Warrior” for Oklahoma City.
David has received numerous awards. They include:
• “OKCityan of the Year” from OKC Friday, in recognition of David’s longtime service to his hometown
• “George Nigh Public Service in the Arts Award” as part of the Governor’s Arts Awards issued by the Oklahoma Arts Council, in recognition of David’s service to the arts community
• “Sunshine Award” from Freedom of Information Oklahoma, in recognition of David’s work to promote government transparency
• “Child Abuse Prevention Leadership Award” from Parent Promise, in recognition of David’s work to stop the abuse of Oklahoma’s children
• “Guardian Award” from the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, in recognition of David’s work on behalf of women and children
• “Distinguished Service Award” from the State Regents for Higher Education, in recognition of David’s support of higher education
• “Outstanding Young Alumnus Award” from the Oklahoma City University School of Law, in recognition of David’s professional success
• “Legislative Champion Award” from the National MS Society, in recognition of David’s work to support the MS community
• “Bulldog Award” from the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council, in recognition of David’s work to ensure that police body cameras videos are utilized and accessible to the public
• “40 Under 40” by OKC Business News
• “Achiever Under 40” by The Journal Record
National & International Profile
National and international organizations and media have taken an interest in David’s work.
In 2014, Chuck Todd of NBC News named David one of two Republican “Rising Stars” in Oklahoma. In 2017, he was selected to participate in the Aspen Institute’s Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership program.
He currently serves as a member of the national Uniform Law Commission. For three years, David served on the national board of GOPAC, which works to train and elect the next generation of leaders.
In 2015, David was a featured speaker at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, sharing the stage with many of the leading presidential contenders. He is also a graduate of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation “Emerging Leaders” program.
David has been quoted or featured on Fox News, Fox Business News, MSNBC, NPR Morning Edition, SiriusXM Patriot, and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Roll Call, NewsMax, The Blaze, National Journal, BuzzFeed, National Review, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bloomberg, and New York Magazine, among others.
David is especially active on social media and has been noted in Oklahoma media as the most-followed member of the Oklahoma Legislature.
David has also spoken to media around the country about his experience inside the Oklahoma City renaissance, documented in his book Big League City: Oklahoma City’s Rise to the NBA. David was also a credited writer on the film “Oklahoma City: The Boom, the Bust and the Bomb”.
David has also been deeply involved in our nation’s presidential election process, having authored laws to move Oklahoma’s presidential primary date and to preserve the integrity of the Electoral College process. In 2012, the voters of Oklahoma elected David to the nation’s Electoral College. David had previously served as a member of two Oklahoma delegations to the Republican National Convention. In the 2016 election, David served as Oklahoman chairman of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign.
David has been an ambassador for Oklahoma around the world. In 2012, he served as a member of a delegation to China and Taiwan sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the American Council of Young Political Leaders. In 2015, he hosted an ACYPL delegation from China in Oklahoma City. In 2016, he was invited to speak on a panel in Doha, Qatar. He was also selected to participate in the 2016 young leaders conference of the Council for the United States and Italy, held in Naples, Italy.
Public Service Experience
David’s public service experience is deep and has served his constituents well. After his graduation from college, during which time he interned for Oklahoma Congressmen J.C. Watts and Ernest Istook, David’s path of public service led him first to the U.S. Capitol. There, he served the U.S. House Speaker during a time period that included the 9/11 attacks. David then spent two years in the White House of President George W. Bush, serving as a liaison to Congress. In 2004, driven by a desire to bring his unique experiences home, he returned to Oklahoma City to coordinate the state’s efforts to re-elect President Bush.
David then served U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe and Lt. Governor Mary Fallin before becoming Chief of Staff to Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett in 2006, where he served until his election to the Oklahoma State Senate in 2010.
David’s time at City Hall was marked by major milestones in the Oklahoma City renaissance, including the arrival of the NBA. He documented that history in his book Big League City: Oklahoma City’s Rise to the NBA, published in 2012 by Full Circle Press. That book has become part of the curriculum of at least four Oklahoma City-area high schools.
A tireless volunteer, David has been a leader in many community organizations.
David has most notably been a champion for the arts, serving on the executive committee of Allied Arts, and on the boards of the Oklahoma City Arts Council, the Oklahoma City Arts Commission, and the Cultural Development Corporation of Central Oklahoma. He also served as President of Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park and engineered its relocation to downtown Oklahoma City.
David has also notably been a champion for public education, serving on the boards of the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools and the Putnam City Schools Foundation.
He has also served important institutions supporting the growth of the Oklahoma City metro, including the boards of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum Foundation, the MAPS 3 Park Foundation, the Northwest Oklahoma City Chamber, the Bethany Improvement Foundation, and on the Regional Transit Dialogue Steering Committee.
Along with these other community activities, David served as President of the Ralph Ellison Foundation. In 2013, he co-chaired the 25th anniversary celebration of the Myriad Botanical Gardens. David is also a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City Class XXVI and is a member of the 2017 class of the Tinker Air Force Base “Honorary Commanders” program.
David’s other past and present community associations not previously mentioned include:
• Rotary 29
• Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum Board of Directors
• YWCA Leadership Alliance
• Oklahoma Republican Party State Committee
• Oklahoma County Republican Party Executive Committee
• Oklahoma State Chamber Congressional Activities Committee
• Oklahoma Municipal League Legislative Committee
• Oklahoma City Downtown Club Board of Directors
• Quail Creek Homeowner’s Association Board of Directors
• ACM@UCO Business Development Center Advisory Board
• Oklahoma City Zoo Trust
• Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority Board of Trustees
• Lake Atoka Reservation Association Managing Board
• McGee Creek Authority
• Oklahoma Olympic Engagement Committee
• Big 12 Basketball and Baseball Championships Host Committees
• Oklahoma Academy for State Goals Advisory Board
• Leadership Oklahoma City Alumni Association