Voters last week have given Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett a new opportunity: Find a new chief of staff. The current occupier of that office will soon be packing boxes and moving down the street in his new job as state senator.
David Holt, who has served as Cornett's chief of staff since 2006, won the race for Senate District 30 during the July 27 primary. The Republican was in a two-man race with Matt Jackson. The winner automatically won the seat as no Democrat filed for the office.
After spending most of his post-election hours answering phone calls, e-mail, text and Facebook messages of congratulations, Holt said he finally made it to bed around 3 a.m.
Back in his city office just a few hours later, Holt was already typing up his resignation letter. But he will stay on the job until the middle of November when a new Legislature is sworn in.
"I will still be on the job trying to finish up some things," he said. "I feel like I still have some things I want to get done. Plus, it is still nice to have a job that pays. I need to bank as much as possible because the next job I take has a pretty severe pay cut."
Currently, Holt's job as the mayor's chief of staff pays about $88,000 a year. As state senator, Holt's salary will drop to around $38,000. The new legislator said he plans to find another job while working in the Senate.
"I have no idea what this is at this point," he said. "I figure it will work out. It seemed presumptive to work on that prior to (election). That is now on my to-do list."
Holt has spent quite a bit of time working in government. Before joining the mayor's office, Holt worked for congressmen J.C. Watts and Ernest Istook. He has also worked for former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and for George W. Bush in the president's White House Office of Legislative Affairs.
Before landing as the mayor's chief of staff, he also worked for U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and for Mary Fallin when she was in the lieutenant governor's office.
"I think it's a great job," Holt said of being in the mayor's office. "Several of my predecessors told me it was the best job they ever had, and I feel the same way. It's very rewarding to work for Oklahoma City."
Holt is replacing Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, who is term limited from the Legislature. Holt said he has not thought about what committees he would like to serve on in the senate, but definitely knows what type of senator he wants to be.
"I want to be bold," he said. "It's an exciting opportunity with so many new faces at the top. We need to embrace that exciting opportunity." "Scott Cooper
photo In November, David Holt will leave City Hall for his new seat in the state Senate.