Kathy Taylor Will Not Seek Re-Election

Thursday, June 4th 2009, 3:58 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor says she's not running for re-election.

The announcement startled her supporters and critics, who expected her to be re-elected in the fall.

Taylor had said many times she would run for a second term, but she bought advertising to announce her change of heart, and late Thursday confirmed the news.

The confirmation came in a Thursday afternoon news conference, but the announcement came through a television commercial scheduled to start running Friday.

"So while I'm honored to be your mayor, I've decided not to run for re-election," Taylor says in the spot.  "Together we've accomplished much. Let's never quit dreaming and working to make life better in Tulsa."

Watch Mayor Kathy Taylor's first TV interview on Six in the Morning.

Taylor said she decided to keep her focus on running the city rather than a second campaign. She denied the persistent rumor that she's got a government job lined up in Washington.

"I have no plans other to work really hard the next six months, finish my term, tie some bows around some things and keep this city on sound financial footing," Taylor said.

She said she had not been approached by anyone from the Obama administration.

Taylor won the office in a hard-fought campaign in 2006 and was up for re-election this fall.

During her term, she has negotiated a constant stream of deals that even critics recognized came out of long hours on the job.

Taylor says she has no regrets, except that city policy sometimes takes a back seat to politics, and she's announcing her decision now to help relieve some political pressure and give someone else time to run.

"I hope it will encourage others to put the city about their partisan political agendas," she said.

Taylor specifically mentioned her disappointment in partisan politics over funding for the ballpark and the new city budget.

She said that did not figure in her decision, instead saying she hoped to diffuse some of the politics by stepping out of the race.