Tulsa Mayoral Candidates Reflect On Long, Negative Campaign

Friday, November 8th 2013, 6:35 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The race for mayor is in its final days, so candidates are making their final push to win over voters.

Governor Mary Fallin was in town Friday evening to encourage supporters of Dewey Bartlett to get out the vote for her fellow Republican.

Bartlett said he'll cast his vote on election day, next Tuesday.

As for his rival, Kathy Taylor took advantage of early voting and went to the ballot box Friday morning.

She's not alone. The election board told us about 140 Tulsans were voting every hour.

There's never been a mayor's race in Tulsa this long or this expensive.

Both candidates for Tulsa Mayor believe they have been smeared by the other candidate, and that their own advertising is a response to that.

Kathy Taylor and current Mayor Dewey Bartlett can stand side by side, but judging from their TV ads, it would appear they can't stand each other. Both have run ads with strong language, critical of their opponent.

The negative campaign ads are everywhere on the Internet, too, both from the campaigns and from outside groups who want to influence the race.

The candidates both don't believe their own ads fit the definition of a negative ad.

"We stand behind every one of the ads we run. They're very direct and they answer what I feel are charges or statements that aren't true, and we have to respond to those in a positive, direct way, so that's how we approached it," Bartlett said.

11/5/2013 Related Story: News On 6 Hosts Tulsa Mayoral Debate

"Anything that we've said or run is contrasting Mayor Bartlett's record," Kathy Taylor said. "We haven't attacked his family, we haven't done anything that is personal. It's all about leadership for this city and what we've been doing, and challenging him to do, is talk about the plans for the future."

Both candidates agree the campaign was too long. The primary was in July. And a long campaign is expensive. Between the two candidates, they've spent $750,000 just on TV ads.

The candidates appeared in several televised forums and in countless public appearances and news stories.

Both say they've talked about issues, even while talking about each other.

If you haven't made up your mind on the mayor's race, join us Monday night at 9 o'clock on the Tulsa CW. Jennifer Loren and Chera Kimiko will host a final face-off between Dewey Bartlett and Kathy Taylor.

11/7/2013 Related Story: News On 6 Hosts Mayoral Forum On Monday Night