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Tulsa Mayoral Candidates Gear Up For Election Season

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Current mayor Dewey Bartlett, former mayor Kathy Taylor and former city councilor Bill Christiansen are out on the trail. Current mayor Dewey Bartlett, former mayor Kathy Taylor and former city councilor Bill Christiansen are out on the trail.

For the first time in Tulsa's history the election for mayor will be nonpartisan.

With election day just two months away, each campaign is kicking things into high gear.

Each candidate won't be able to file with the election board until next week, and there are several upcoming debates.

But that hasn't stopped them from getting their message out early.

Supporters of current mayor Dewey Bartlett are celebrating the opening of his campaign reelection headquarters.

But soon the hot dogs and burgers will be replaced by volunteers, reaching out to potential voters.

"We're busy all the time, both day and night," Bartlett said.

The Bartlett camp understands that the next 60 days could decide the June election, and they are standing by his track record.

"The job creation, economic focus we've had… having the consistency and continuity of the same leadership is extremely important," Bartlett said.

The same can be said about the platform of former mayor Kathy Taylor.

Campaign manager Anna America said their camp is stressing the impact Taylor's leadership had on development of downtown.

"They forget how controversial that was, and how much she had to work to bring down the ballpark and do some of the other development that sparked this incredible private investment," America said.

America said they opened a campaign office at the beginning of the year in preparation of the new election format Tulsans chose in 2011.

"It's a tone of that kind of work, feet on the ground, people making phone calls, connecting with voters," America said.

Bill Christiansen has had his feet on the ground, speaking with voters in what he calls a grass roots tour.

"I'm reaching out to Republicans, Democrats and Independents because it is a nonpartisan election, and really it's about Tulsa," he said.

Candidates need more than 50 percent of the vote to win in June, and Christiansen is hoping his experience on the city council will help get him elected, potentially six months before the mayor's term would begin.

"I think small-business experience and city council experience combined will set me apart from the other two candidates," Christensen said.

Taylor wasn't able to talk because she had laryngitis.

If one of the candidates doesn't get the majority of the vote, a run-off will start in August leading up to the November election.

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