By Dan Bewley and Scott Thompson, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- A Republican candidate for Tulsa's top political spot wants to know why his main competitor has supported Democratic candidates in the past. Chris Medlock says Dewey Bartlett's support of current Mayor Kathy Taylor shows he's not concerned with the Republican Party.
Six of the 11 Republican mayoral candidates spoke before the Republican Women's Club of Tulsa on Tuesday. The speeches came less than a month from the September 8th Primary Election that will decide which candidate represents the Republican Party.
Chris Medlock lobbed the first punch. The former city councilor and talk show host accused Dewey Bartlett of abandoning the Republican Party when he supported Democrat Kathy Taylor two years ago, then again earlier this year.
"My opponent was the poster boy for the Republicans for Kathy Taylor. Party matters, I stood for the party. I will always stand for the party," said Mayoral Candidate Chris Medlock.
Dewey Bartlett doesn't deny supporting Mayor Taylor. He says the decision was based on his philosophy that individuals with backgrounds in business should run for public office.
"At that point in time, I thought it was in the city's best interest to have a chief executive that had real strong business experience in their background," said Mayoral Candidate Dewey Bartlett.
Medlock won't go so far as to question whether Bartlett follows Republican principles, but he says it's important for voters to know what they're getting.
"I represent the more conservative wing of the party. He's more the moderate wing and I think that's something people will factor in," said Mayoral Candidate Chris Medlock.
Bartlett counters by saying the public knows what they're getting with him, someone who has experience running a large organization.
"It's a big, big job and if you give it to a person that is expected to have on the job training, we made a huge mistake," said Mayoral Candidate Dewey Bartlett.
Each of the six candidates was given five minutes to speak at the luncheon. Web Extra Videos of each speaker are posted to the right.