Shadid falls short of election in Oklahoma City Mayoral Race
By Ray Hanania
Ed Shadid joined the ranks of American Arabs who have fought valiantly to break the glass ceiling to strive to become one of a small few who have won election to public office, but his candidacy fell short Tuesday
Shadid, the cousin of the late Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author Anthony Shadid, lost the election for Oklahoma City Mayor to three term incumbent Mick Cornett.
The election was held Tuesday, March 4, 2014.
According to election results, Cornett defeated Shadid by a two-to-one margin. Here are the official results from the Oklahoma election board site:
Out of 467,934 votes cast, Shadid only won 15,739 votes with Cornett receiving 31,495 or 65.7 percent of the vote.
A major challenge for Shadid was his divorce from his wife, Dina Hammam, and the break-up of his marriage, which has three young children. The conservative Oklahoman Newspaper lead a crusade to force the release of Shadid’s divorce records which included allegations of cocaine use, pornography and threats against his wife. Although Shadid offered to sit down and discuss the details of the bitter divorce case with the newspaper to protect his three children, the political newspaper was intent on exposing the contentious claims.
Oklahoma City is Oklahoma’s largest municipality. The state is very conservative politically. Shadid was able to win office to the Oklahoma City Council representing the 2nd District since 2011.
A major issue in the race was incumbent Mayor Cornett’s refusal to participate in any public debates. Ironically, as the Oklahoman Newspaper campaigned to tarnish Shadid’s record with rumors and divorce allegations, Cornett said he did not want to participate in any debates to “avoid negativity.” Ironically, the Shadid-Cornett battle was one of the most negative in Oklahoma’s history, according to some veteran political observers.
Cornett had won his seat on the Oklahoma City Council in 2001, filling the vacancy of an incumbent who resigned to run for higher office. He was elected to two full terms twice before. This election will make him the first Oklahoma Mayor to win the office in four elections, including election to three full four-year terms.
Shadid had often said publicly that he believed that Oklahoma politics needed more diversity.