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Barry Switzer Announces Endorsement of David Holt for OKC Mayor

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Mayoral candidate David Holt
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OKLAHOMA CITY- Oklahoma City mayoral candidate David Holt announced Tuesday that former University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys football coach Barry Switzer has endorsed his run for Mayor.

Switzer, an Oklahoma City activist, has supported city mayors in the past. In 1993, he backed Mayor Ron Norick and campaigned for passage of the original MAPS, has supported quality of life initiatives and continues to be active in the Oklahoma community, Holt said.

“For a kid from Oklahoma City, what is cooler than having Barry Switzer endorse you?” Holt said Tuesday. “I certainly remember all the times I’ve been around Barry Switzer, and he is a civically-active person. You look at his track record, and he’s fought for MAPS and the American Indian Cultural Center, both projects I want to continue.”

"I strongly endorse David Holt to be Oklahoma City's next Mayor," said Switzer in a released statement. "He is by far the most qualified candidate. To keep the Oklahoma City renaissance going, let's elect David Holt!"

Holt said he was honored to receive Switzer's endorsement.

"There's a short list of people who have been as committed to OKC for as long as Coach Switzer. I am humbled that Coach Switzer believes in our campaign," Holt said. “It’s a long time until the election, but if nothing else, if people haven’t heard of me or made up their mind, his endorsement may make them give me a first or a second look.”

Switzer is the latest in a long line of supporters announcing their endorsement for Holt, who formerly served as chief of staff to Mayor Mick Cornett before serving the last seven years in the Oklahoma Senate, representing parts of Northwest Oklahoma City.    

Holt has authored 60 pieces of legislation that have become law, and he has been a supporter in the Senate for increased teacher pay, better public schools, more government transparency, protections for domestic violence victims and higher voter participation.  

Holt also received the “Sunshine Award” from Freedom of Information Oklahoma, the “Guardian Award” from the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, the “Bulldog Award” from the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council and a Governor’s Art Award, among others.

In March, the campaign to elect David Holt the next Mayor of Oklahoma City unveiled what they said was a bipartisan list of 450 endorsements from former governors, current and former councilmembers and legislators, business leaders, educators and teachers, community activists and citizens.

The endorsements include former Gov. Brad Henry and former Gov. Frank Keating, business leaders like Greg Love, Larry Nichols and Harold Hamm; civic leaders, former county commissioner Jim Roth, legislators and more.

In May, Oklahoma City’s firefighters have unanimously voted to support Holt as next Mayor as well.

“I am honored to receive the support of Oklahoma City’s firefighters,” said Holt. “Public safety will always be one of my top priorities as Mayor, and success requires working together with our firefighters to ensure the City’s needs are met.   This endorsement reflects our mutual desire to have a strong collaborative relationship.”

“Over the course of many months and many conversations, we have built a relationship with David, and we believe in his candidacy to be Oklahoma City’s next Mayor,” said Scott VanHorn, president of the Oklahoma City Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 157, in a released statement. “David and our members stand united on the need for a more diverse revenue stream to fund public safety.”

Mayoral candidate Brian Maughan responded to the firefighters’ endorsement by sending a letter to VanHorn, saying that the firefighters’ union leadership said they would meet with all candidates before any endorsement.

He claimed the union announcement “was made with no prior notice to your members to allow discussion and that it resulted from a vote taken by a minimal turnout of your members. One can hardly be blamed for coming to the conclusion that, as they say, the fix was in,” Maughan wrote.

The election to choose Oklahoma City’s next Mayor will be held February 13, 2018, against Maughan, State Rep. George Young and Oklahoma City Councilman Ed Shadid.

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Heide Brandes

Heide Brandes is an award-winning journalist and editor with more than 18 years of experience....

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