Tulsa Museum Dispute Heats Up Oklahoma Congressional Race

Wednesday, June 20th 2012, 3:16 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Jim Bridenstine, Republican candidate for Congress, held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to dispute claims made by Congressman John Sullivan in a recent mailing to voters in the 1st Congressional District.

The mailing claimed that the Tulsa Air and Space Museum was "nearly ruined" while Bridenstine served as its executive director.

He was the executive director of the facility from December 2008 to August 2010.

Bridenstine said voters shouldn't believe what they're hearing about him from his opponent John Sullivan.

"I don't know how many times we have to do this before it stops," Bridenstine said. "He doesn't care about the truth. He wants to do anything to distract from the issues confronting this country."

A member of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum board also disputed the Sullivan campaign's claims Wednesday.

In a statement, Gregory Colpitts, the museum's legal counsel, said Sullivan's accusations are untrue.

Read Greggory Colpitts statement.

Colpitts also refuted several other accusations made by Sullivan, who last week accused his opponent in the June 26 primary election of mismanaging the museum's finances.

"I'm honored that the Tulsa Air and Space Museum has decided to weigh in because what he's doing is wrong," said Bridenstine.

Sullivan's campaign responded by saying, "Bridenstine doesn't want to own up" to the lost memberships and revenue at the museum and that is trying to distract people from his personal voting record.

With less than a week to go in the primary, the candidates are ramping up advertising, and both sides are going negative.

Bridenstine said there's a big difference between the personal votes he missed while on duty in the Navy and the official votes Sullivan missed  while serving in Congress.

Bridenstine: "This has been a pattern of behavior over almost 11 years."