Mick Cornett is a Republican candidate for Governor of Oklahoma and the former mayor of Oklahoma City.
The son of a postal worker and a school teacher, Mick Cornett is a 5th generation Oklahoman who rose from humble roots to become the most successful Republican mayor in the country.
Mick received many accolades during his 14 years as Oklahoma City Mayor, but he is most proud of his work in the continued revitalization and renaissance of Oklahoma City, including the creation of more than 100,000 new jobs and 10,000 new businesses, maintaining one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, diversifying the local economy, and welcoming the NBA to town.
His conservative leadership as mayor led the city to 14-straight, on-time balanced budgets, a 15 percent rainy day fund and the highest bond rating available.
During his tenure, the city invested nearly $2 billion in schools and infrastructure dedicated to improving the city’s quality of life. That investment generated nearly $6 billion in local, private sector investment.
He is a graduate of Putnam City High School, The University of Oklahoma and also holds an MBA from New York University. Before seeking elected office, he had a successful, 20-year career in broadcast journalism, where he served as a reporter, anchor and manager. Afterward, he was elected to City Council and finally as the Mayor of Oklahoma City.
He is married to Terri (Walker) Cornett and has three sons and five grandchildren.
Why are you running for this office?
We all know our state is facing major challenges, including chaos at the State Capitol and an economy which is over-reliant on the oil and gas industry. As an
outsider to state government, but with experience in balancing budgets and diversifying a local economy as the Mayor of Oklahoma City, I believe my skillset can help lead our state in a better direction.
Oklahomans want a governor who shares their values, will hold government accountable, and will get results. As mayor, we balanced 14-straight balanced budgets, created more than 100,000 new jobs and 10,000 new businesses, and had one of the strongest local economies in the country. I also chaired the audit committee where we audited every department every year.
That’s the level of expectation I’ll bring to the Governor’s office, and it’s the same level of success Oklahomans across our state deserve, no matter what community they live in.
What do you think are the top three biggest challenges facing our state?
We’ve got to get our fiscal house in order and end the chaos at the State Capitol. We need to grow and diversify our economy. We need to invest in education and ensure we are getting the best outcomes possible for the next generation.
What are your top five priorities to address while in office?
On day one, we need to work to get our fiscal house back in order. Recently, the state’s credit rating was downgraded and we need to work with the ratings agencies to ensure it can be restored. As mayor, our city bond rating was the highest they allow a municipality to have. We should have the same standard as a state.
I’d also like to address criminal justice reform, and investing in infrastructure to ensure the private sector has the ability to grow the economy in our state.
Outside of session, for twelve months a year, we need a champion for health and education, to inspire our state to have higher expectations in both categories. What a Governor does in session matters, but we also need a Governor who can control the narrative about our state, inspire citizens, and if necessary, defend our state from a harmful national narrative.
When faced with a specific situation that puts your personal viewpoint at odds with a great many of your constituents, what decision do you make and why?
Respecting the will of the people is important for any elected official to remember. As Mayor, I have experience taking issues to citizens to vote on, and after ever election, we did exactly what we said we were going to do. It is important for government, especially state government given its poor reputation, to work towards instilling confidence with the citizens of the state.
So, especially when a ballot measure passes, I think it is crucially important for state government to implement the will of the people.
I plan to lead on a great number of issues which I’ve already mentioned, but I will always bring people to the table to discuss opposing viewpoints and to work toward the benefit of all Oklahomans.