Mayoral Candidates Bartlett, Bynum Debate In Tulsa

Wednesday, June 1st 2016, 1:13 pm
By: News On 6

Two of Tulsa’s mayoral candidates went head to head on Wednesday afternoon. Current Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and councilor GT Bynum answered  questions from members of the Rotary Club of Tulsa.

Before a packed room, both candidates debated why they believe their path is the best for the future of Tulsa.

And while each has a different vision – the debate was largely civil. 

The candidates want voters to decide if Tulsa is on the right path -- or does it need to carve a new one?

“In the last seven years, Oklahoma City has outpaced us in job growth more than two to one,” Bynum said.

While Bynum believes new leadership will spur needed growth for Tulsa, Bartlett says not so fast.

“We now have 25 new startups in Tulsa, in the oil and gas business employing hundreds of people,” he said.

They also went back and forth about the relationship with the county or lack thereof.

"The relationship that we have with the city and county is good,” Bartlett said.

Not the case, says Bynum.

“We have to modernize the working relationship between the city and county,” Bynum said.

Bartlett hopes his experience in office will sway votes. Saying staying the course will allow current polices to take hold.

"I want to continue to build upon the successes that we have accomplished," Bartlett said.

But Bynum says it's that experience that's limiting the city’s potential.

"I think if you served more than two terms, you start getting defensive of the status quo,” Bynum said.

News On 6's own Terry Hood moderated the debate.  And when she asked what sets each candidate apart from the other, the focus wasn't exactly on policy. 

"Better glass wear," Bartlett said to laughter.

"Agree to disagree,” Bynum said to more laughter.

A reminder: Friday is the last day to register to vote, and Election Day is June 28.