Tulsa's Gadfly Candidate Paul Tay Runs For Mayor

Friday, July 10th 2009, 12:04 am
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A perinneal gadfly candidate, known for his bizarre antics as much as his political campaigns, say he's running to replace Mayor Kathy Taylor.

Ever since, Mayor Kathy Taylor dropped the bombshell that she had decided not to run for re-election, a string of Tulsans have dropped their names into the hat: Democrat Tom Adelson, Republicans Dewey Bartlett, Chris Medlock and Clay Clark.

And now another average Tulsa citizen is adding his name to the ballot - again.

"I've been doing this since '02, said Democrat Paul Tay, Mayoral Candidate. "And I have my game down. I know what needs to be done. I've seen it all."

Seen it all and done it all... Paul Tay has become almost a caricature of himself. He ran a shoestring campaign - mostly from his bicycle - in 2002, and again in 2006. And it's that bicycle that's gotten the infamous Tulsan in some trouble.

In 2002, he got a string of bike-related tickets, which he burned in protest. And who could forget his cycling tour down Riverside drive with an inflatable piece of male anatomy.

That stunt didn't land him behind bars, but he's been convicted of a string of offenses including assaulting a police officer, trespassing, and obstructing an officer.

The ruckus he caused in 2004, where he fought police and spewed racial slurs, ended with him in handcuffs. He was running for city council at the time and he actually spent election day in an Oklahoma County jail cell. Given his antics, some may view his campaign as nothing more than a political punchline.

"Why should they take this candidacy seriously? Because I'm in the game, 90% of winning is showing up," Tay said. "The reason why you guys should take me seriously is I take the great American democracy seriously."

A Tulsa realtor, Norris Streetman, plans to announce his candidacy to take over here at One Tech Center, this Saturday. And with the official filing period starting next week, more candidates could come out of the woodwork.