Mayoral Candidates Exchange Political Jabs During Debate

Tuesday, April 12th 2016, 8:21 pm

The Republican Women's Club drew a crowd with two, popular, already elected candidates up for the same job.

Mayor Dewey Bartlett wants another term; city councilor G.T. Bynum wants to replace him.

"I don't think he has any clear objectives of what he wants to do for the city and no one has held him accountable on that for years,” said Bynum.

That was after the talk, but in front of the crowd, the two were more congenial, agreeing they're against tax increases, and for leveraging city and county government services to save money.

"We're in the process of attempting to combine the parks department for the city and the county, maybe throw RiverParks in there, so that's a three in one," said Bartlett.

But they disagree sharply on who deserves credit for the Vision renewal. Bynum credits the city council with developing the Vision Plan, especially in the final negotiation, while Bartlett says his public safety tax proposal was really what got it going.

"Very directly to who started this whole Vision process and it was me," stated Bartlett.

Back during their talk, the two Republicans gently disagreed on whether city candidates ought to run under a political party.

Bartlett's for it, but Bynum says he doesn't believe city government needs to be partisan.

"If you want to make this city better for my kids, I don't care what political party you're in, and my campaign will be along those lines," explained Bynum.

Two other candidates filed for office, Lawrence Kirkpatrick and Paul Tay. Both have run several times without a serious campaign.

The primary is two months away.