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Graying leadership is out as millennials gain council majority

Mayor David Holt
Mayor David Holt

Mayor David Holt says he views the generational shift on the Oklahoma City Council "as an opportunity to harness new energy and new ideas."

"As I’ve been telling people, starting in April a majority of the city’s elected officials will have served less than two years," Holt said Tuesday night after voters chose JoBeth Hamon, 28, and James Cooper, 36, to fill open seats in Ward 6 and Ward 2.

That energy and those new ideas are needed, Holt said, "as we move into this new chapter for our city and develop a MAPS 4 proposal that continues our city’s momentum and extends it to all our citizens."

This winter's council races affirmed voters' desires for MAPS projects that benefit neighborhoods and address unmet needs, from streets in need of resurfacing to inadequate bus service to troubling trends in homelessness, domestic violence and educational achievement in the public schools.

Even Ward 5 Councilman David Greenwell, who turns 65 this month and won his third term, said during the campaign that he anticipated MAPS 4 "will be totally different" than MAPS 3, with its focus on downtown.

Tuesday's clear wins in Wards 2, 5, 6 and 8 mean no races will go to an April 2 runoff. New terms  begin April 9.

With all 34 precincts reporting in Ward 2, Cooper had 2,431 votes, or 53 percent. Four opponents split the remainder, none with more than 18 percent.

With all 28 precincts reporting in Ward 6, Hamon had 1,332 votes, or 54.4 percent, to 1,012 votes, or 41.3 percent for Harding. Jim Holman had 105 votes, or 4.3 percent.

Those races were for open seats, with Meg Salyer retiring in Ward 6 and Ed Shadid retiring in Ward 2.

In Ward 5, with all 24 precincts reporting, Greenwell had 1,314 votes, or 65.5 percent, to beat Kristina Hull, who won 692 votes, or 34.5 percent.

With all 30 precincts reporting in Ward 8, Councilman Mark Stonecipher had 2,696 votes, or 65.7 percent, to 1,408 votes, or 34.3 percent, for Lauren Durmus.

Stonecipher was elected to his second term.

Holt turns 40 next month, Ward 1 Councilman James Greiner turns 38 next month, and Ward 7 Councilwoman Nikki Nice, elected last November, is 38.


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Mayor David Holt

Mayor David Holt

<figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Mayor David Holt" title="Mayor David Holt"><figcaption>Mayor David Holt</figcaption></figure>
William Crum

OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman. Read more ›