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Tulsa Mayoral Candidates Talk Issues During Debate

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Republican Dewey Bartlett, Democrat Tom Adelson and Independent Mark Perkins took to the airwaves in a forum that let them hit their talking points and share a little personality. Republican Dewey Bartlett, Democrat Tom Adelson and Independent Mark Perkins took to the airwaves in a forum that let them hit their talking points and share a little personality.
Republican Dewey Bartlett hammered home his message of jobs and job creation. Republican Dewey Bartlett hammered home his message of jobs and job creation.
Democrat Tom Adelson talked about his record and building bridges. Democrat Tom Adelson talked about his record and building bridges.
Independent Mark Perkins pushed his nonpartisan approach as the best solution for the city's challenges. Independent Mark Perkins pushed his nonpartisan approach as the best solution for the city's challenges.

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa will have a new mayor in less than a week. The mayoral candidates -- Republican Dewey Bartlett, Democrat Tom Adelson and Independent Mark Perkins -- took to the airwaves in a forum that let them hit their talking points and share a little personality.

The KRMG Mayoral Smashup lasted an hour. It was an informal debate with few restrictions. NewsOn6.com live streamed the debate.

Crowds at the forum, held at Jewel at 33rd and Peoria, packed the dance floor, shouting their approval and disapproval of the candidate's answers. A nightclub may not be your typical forum for politics, but the candidates sparkled -- sparring, questioning each other and even having a few laughs.

They talked about downtown development, dealing with the city council and keeping police officers on the streets.

Republican Dewey Bartlett hammered home his message of jobs and job creation.

Democrat Tom Adelson talked about his record and building bridges.

Independent Mark Perkins pushed his nonpartisan approach as the best solution for the city's challenges.

Voters were allowed to tweet, text and e-mail questions to the candidates, but the first one came from a woman that knows a little something about being mayor.

"This is Mayor Kathy Taylor. And my question is really, why would you want this job?"

"When I saw the opportunity, when our good mayor decided not to run for re-election; I've been such a firm believer in the business community getting involved, now's my time," said Dewey Bartlett, (R) mayoral candidate.

"I love Tulsa. I've been a part of some really important victories in the state senate in the area of health care, area of education, the area of economic development and I want to bring that same record of effectiveness, that same record of getting things done to city government," said Tom Adelson, (D) mayoral candidate.

"I think we're at a crossroads in Tulsa. We've been talking about a lot of the same problems for as long as I can remember and I think it's time for some new leadership and I think that I'm the one to deliver," said Mark Perkins, (I) mayoral candidate.

One viewer asked if, like their predecessor Kathy Taylor, would the candidates forgo a salary.

Tom Adelson said yes.

Mark Perkins said that would be a "terrible financial move" for him.

Dewey Bartlett also said no, because he believes getting paid reflects the seriousness of the job.

The forum stayed pretty positive, but one voter wanted to know why the race had gotten so negative.

"No. I'm not ashamed of myself, very sincerely," said Bartlett. "If there's anything that I have stated that someone might consider as being negative, it's truthful, it's cited and it brings up an issue."

"I've been spending the past three weeks attacking problems and not attacking people," said Adelson. "That's why I have a near double-digit lead today."

Tom Adelson's lead also became a point of contention, with some wondering if Mark Perkins is just a spoiler.

Announcer: "Tom Adelson is in the lead, primarily maybe because of your candidacy because you're in the race. Do you believe you have a chance to win?"

"Absolutely," answered Perkins. "I think I have all the momentum and have for several weeks. I think there are a lot of pragmatic and forward-thinking Tulsans who understand that I'm exactly what we need."

The candidates didn't just talk policy. There were several light-hearted moments, like who the candidates are pulling for in the World Series, what reading material is on their night side table and whether they wear boxers or briefs.

Adelson For Mayor | Dewey Bartlett - Tulsa Mayor | Mark Perkins For Mayor

11/3/2009  Related Story: Can Tulsa's Mayoral Candidates Cure The City's Struggling Economy?

 

 

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