Oklahoma City mayor and candidate for Governor, Mick Cornett, spent some time in Henryetta Wednesday as part of a tour through eastern Oklahoma.
Cornett met with Henryetta school officials discussing education funding then stopped off at the noon Rotary club meeting.
cornett with clasonHe said his introduction to government came when he was assigned to cover city hall while as a television reporter in Oklahoma City. “City hall is where the action was. That’s where a person can really make a difference and I wanted to make a difference.”
Cornett ran for and won a seat on the city council then became mayor in 2004. He said that was the time, “Oklahoma City was ready for something really exciting to come forward.”
He said Oklahoma City had become known for the bombing and tornadoes. “We had to get something positive to connect with our city.” That included visiting with the National Basketball Association and eventually was able to get the New Orleans Hornets to play in Oklahoma City after Katrina devastated that city.
Two sold out seasons had been recorded when the Seattle franchise became open.
“That kickstarted and accellerated Oklahoma City’s growth pattern.”
He pointed out nearly 100,000 new jobs and 10,000 new businesses have been created since he became mayor.
The impact of quality of life for employees was stressed when Dell was invited to move to Oklahoma City. “The key to economic development is quality of life.” Dell has 2,000 employees in Oklahoma City now.
Over the years, Boeing moved facilities to Oklahoma City. Cornett was tasked to visit with employees describing the benefits of living in Oklahoma City. After pointing out the lack of traffic congestion, affordable housing and abundance of fresh water and clean air, two-thirds of the Boeing employees moved to Oklahoma City. That was repeated when the Seattle operations for Boeing also relocated to Oklahoma.cornet visiting with noble
He said that resulted in a diverse economy where only three percent of the workforce is employed in oil and gas.
He made the decision to run as governor came after, “the disappointing, self-destruction legislative session of 2017.”
He said the in the legislature he saw rural versus, urban, Oklahoma City versus Tulsa republican versus democrat, republicans versus republicans and the house versus the senate. “In that wind, no ship can sail. You are not going to get anything accomplished.”
Cornett went on to say Oklahomans want a stable, prosperous economy. “We are largely an unhealthy state and too many people are uneducated. The pockets of success in this state are unbelievable. as I travel around, I am not discouraged. I think we need improve the culture and expectation of health and education.”
Saying, “Oklahomans are ready to better themselves,” he said state citizens, “don’t lack in smarts. “There are education institutions all over the place.”
Cornett was introduced to the club by Henryetta mayor Jennifer Clason. She had accompanied him on a tour through Henryetta and the area.