Candidates Continue To Debate In Tulsa Mayoral Race

Wednesday, June 15th 2016, 8:57 pm
By: News On 6

The five candidates in contention to become Tulsa’s next mayor have just 13 days left until Election Day.

The great debate for the office continued Wednesday, with a debate between Mayor Dewey Bartlett and City Councilor GT Bynum, hosted by the Home Builders Association.

Many at the debate wondered what’s next for the city, and the two candidates made it clear they see the status of Tulsa very differently.

Both candidates said they want to see the city grow, but disagree on how it's been done so far and how it should be done in the future - Bartlett is leaning on his experience, while Bynum is going after the status quo.

"So, in 16 years we've grown by about 6,000 people. So if anyone thinks that is fantastic, acceptable growth, then you should vote to keep things going the way they are," Bynum said.

Bartlett said, "We've a tremendous number of successes. Some of it has already been pointed out."

Education is an issue hotly debated across the state and the candidates disagreed on David Boren’s one cent sales tax increase proposal.

"Ten percent sales tax, that's way, way, way too high and puts us in a position, at a time when we're just battling to be even, because of all the internet sales that occur that don't pay any taxes at all," Bartlett said.

Bynum said, "I think the one percent sales tax buys us time to implement a better long-term solution."

Members of the HBA said the debate was a success, saying they got many questions answered and know their candidates much better.

In addition to the HBA debate, all five candidates were invited to a public forum at TCC.

6/4/2016 Related Story: Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett's 911 Call During Mayoral Debate

Bartlett did not attend, saying he has a busy schedule as mayor, and that after the incident involving Paul Tay at the last public debate, he doesn’t feel comfortable at a forum where Tay is in attendance.