In what has been a long-anticipated announcement, especially for the metro-area’s grassroots conservative movement, Oklahoma City attorney, Frank Urbanic, has thrown down the gauntlet and formally declared himself a challenger for OKC Mayor.
Urbanic has been a veritable rock star among conservatives ever since he took on Mayor Holt in court over Holt’s illegal proclamation shutting down bars and restaurants at 11:00 p.m. last Thanksgiving. That case continues to this day after Judge Ogden dismissed attempts by the City to get the case thrown out of court.
In his first interview as a candidate, Urbanic sat down with Ignite Liberty to discuss his candidacy, his reasons for jumping in the race, and his vision for a prosperous OKC.
Urbanic grew up in the small Texas town of Friendswood, just outside of the Houston area. He attended college at Texas A&M University, where he joined the Corps of Cadets and commissioned as an officer through ROTC. He was scheduled to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in 2002 when the attacks of 9/11 occurred. Because he was in the Texas Air National Guard while a student, he had to withdraw because he was put on active-duty orders.
During his activation, he deployed to New Jersey to help support the combat air patrol in the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks. While it did result in his educational career getting delayed, Urbanic – like so many others during that time – felt it his calling and duty as an American to stand up and defend his country in that moment of crisis. He eventually did graduate from Texas A&M in 2003, and received his commission as a 2nd Lt. in the United States Air Force.
Air Force Career
After being commissioned, Urbanic’s Air Force career first sent him to Tyndall AFB for training as an Air Battle Manager before landing him at Tinker AFB where he would serve out the rest of his time on active duty as an Air Weapons Officer and Air Surveillance Officer on AWACS. During that time, he saw multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as a deployment to Ecuador for counter drug ops.
After leaving active duty in 2012, he transferred to the Air Force Reserve where he continued on in the same job, deploying two more times to the Southwest Asian theater in support of continued combat operations.
Once in the Reserve, Urbanic’s love of law took him to Texas Tech University School of Law where he graduated in 2015. He could easily have stayed in Texas to start his law practice, which would have been easier, considering he and his wife Audra were starting a family at the time. However, his love of OKC that grew during his time on active duty led him to return to the OKC Metro to start his law practice. He and Audra, now married 13 years, have 3 children: a set of 10-year-old twins Casey and Ava, and their younger brother Micah – age 8.
The Decision to Run
Urbanic’s decision to run came largely off of his high-profile case against Mayor Holt and the city for his proclamation last Thanksgiving forcing bars and restaurants to close at 11:00. Through that case he got to know many of the restaurant owners and employees that make OKC’s service industry thrive. He saw the fear and devastation that Holt’s proclamation brought, and vowed to fight to ensure that they were never unlawfully shut down again.
Initially, that vow meant representing those bars and restaurants in court. However, as the court battle drew on, and many in the grassroots movement began to urge him to consider running, it became clear that defending the rights of those same business owners meant doing more than just winning in court. He had to take on the very root of the problem: Mayor Holt.
When asked about his opponent, Urbanic didn’t mince words, stating:
“Holt is the Chuck Schumer of Oklahoma politics. He’s never actually accomplished anything in his life other than being in politics. Has he ever actually used his law degree to help anyone other than himself? Has he ever actually stepped foot in a courthouse, let alone a courtroom? To the tremendous sacrifice of my family, I have committed to using my law degree to help serve the citizens of Oklahoma City…to include defending them pro bono against the likes of Mayor Holt and Governor Stitt to ensure that their unlawful outreach never happens again.”
When asked about the philosophical differences between himself and Holt, Urbanic replied:
“Holt is one of those empty-suit politicians that has never seen a tax increase he didn’t love. He thinks that it’s the government’s job to give you the best life they can provide you. I don’t. Holt’s instinct is the opposite of liberty. Mine is not. I believe it’s the government’s job to stay out of the way so that you can maximize the full potential that God gave you to build the best life possible for you and your family. That’s what I am committing to as mayor.”
As far as campaign promises, Urbanic made one and only one:
“I want to give the citizens of Oklahoma City the assurance of liberty. I want to ensure that we promote liberty to the maximum extent possible so that we can unleash the power of the industrious people of Oklahoma City, by keeping the government out of their lives as much as possible. I believe that that philosophy will create the conditions that make people want to move here and start businesses here.”
Throughout the interview, Urbanic’s intense love of Oklahoma City was evident. When we asked him to elaborate on what he thinks makes OKC great, he stated:
“The low cost of living is certainly a plus, but I would say that it’s more. It’s the overwhelming sense of patriotism and community that we define as The Oklahoma Standard. It is so refreshing to live in a place where citizens are passionately involved and engaged in government to ensure that we have a government that is limited and that respects the rights of individual citizens.”
“We have so much to offer as a city and community. We have all of the perks of a big city without many of the same problems. That’s why I’m running…to ensure that everything that makes Oklahoma City a fantastic place to live and raise a family stays strong, and does not disappear because we have a Mayor that openly embraces the very liberal, leftist social programs that have turned other large cities into cesspools that their own citizens flee from. We cannot let Oklahoma City become a statistic. If I’m elected Mayor, I can promise you I will do everything in my power to ensure that does not happen.”
Urbanic’s campaign kickoff rally is targeted for October 7th, however the times and details will be released as the date draws closer. His campaign’s website is www.FrankUrbanic.com.
Urbanic’s candidacy comes as a huge shot-in-the-arm for the grassroots conservatives in the Metro area, who had expressed some dismay after Jason Padgett’s campaign fizzled at the beginning of the summer. Given Urbanic’s fighting spirit and passionate rhetoric, if he can parlay his victories over Holt in court to success on the campaign trail, then Holt’s time as Mayor may very well be coming to a swift end.