Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett launched a new TV ad against Councilman GT Bynum - Bartlett's opponent in the race for mayor.
The mayor says the ad is not meant as a smear campaign, but a question voters should consider before going to the polls.
Bynum says it's the type of negative ad that has left many disgusted with politics.
“Meet G.T. Bynum, he's a Washington D.C. Lobbyist. For eight years we’ve paid him to work for us as a city councilor, but during that time, Bynum’s company earned $1.7 million lobbying for other cities and special interests.”
That’s part of the commercial Bartlett's campaign started airing this week. It's an ad Bynum has been expecting.
“I knew the negative campaign would come. It was just a matter of time,” he said.
Bartlett doesn't consider the ad negative. He says it's truthful because Bynum is a registered lobbyist in D.C., which Bartlett believes is a conflict of interest.
“Where are the loyalties? Is it by somebody that pays you to be a lobbyist or somebody that pays you to be a city councilor,” Bartlett said.
Bynum says he and his wife run a consulting firm out of Tulsa that helps Oklahoma companies and some cities with federal contracting or grant writing.
“Our company is based here in Tulsa. I'm not in D.C. I live here. I'm on the city council here. I'm raising my kids here,” Bynum said. “I'm proud of the business that we've built. We have clients here in Oklahoma that have been able to grow their businesses, create jobs here in Tulsa.”
And, the councilman says his company has never, and will never, help a city compete with Tulsa for jobs or economic growth.
“I've always relied on, the entire time I've been on the council, on the city's legal team and our ethics advisory committee to give me advice on what I should and shouldn't do,” Bynum said. “And what they tell me to do. I do. I never question it, I just do what they say I should do.”
Bynum said, despite the new ad, he will not change his campaign tactics.
“We've run a very positive campaign, our campaign has not been about making personal attacks on the mayor,” Bynum said. “It's about trying to unite the city and talk about what we want to do over the next four years.”
Bartlett Campaign Releases GT Bynum Lobbying Report