Democrat Kathy Taylor is Tulsa's next mayor
Tuesday, April 4th 2006, 8:53 AM CDT
Tulsa will soon have a new mayor. Democrat Kathy Taylor battled incumbent Republican Bill LaFortune for the city's top job and won.
Taylor picked up more than 39,000 votes, or 51-percent. LaFortune won 47-percent of the vote. Beneford Faulk was a distant third, followed by Paul Tay.
A record 77,000 votes were cast in the election, but it's not the only record set in the mayor's race.
Combined, both LaFortune and Taylor paid out more than $2-million to run their campaigns. It was money well spent for Taylor.
The former Oklahoma Commerce Secretary maintained a slight lead throughout the night.
On the campaign trail, Taylor portrayed the mayor as weak and ineffective. But before hundreds of supporters in downtown Tulsa, Taylor spoke of building citywide unity. "What I hope is to have a large round table. Lots of voices on that table, of Tulsans from all corners of the city. From all affiliations. That's what is going to make us strong."
Taylor says she considers LaFortune a friend and plans to call on him for advice.
Mayor Bill LaFortune called Taylor to congratulate her about 9:30 PM Tuesday. His supporters held out during the evening, hoping the close election might swing the mayor's way when the final precincts came in, but things didn't go their way. LaFortune says he's leaving the city in good shape for his successor. LaFortune is an attorney, former prosecutor and district attorney. He says he didn't know what his next job will be.
Mayor-elect Kathy Taylor takes over the mayorâ€™s job at noon on Monday during a ceremony at city hall.
There was one major surprise in Tuesday's election. It came in the race for District 6 city council. Incumbent James Mautino lost to challenger Dennis Troyer.
Unofficial vote totals had Dennis Troyer with 3,052 votes to James Mautinoâ€™s 2,896 votes. Just last year Mautino survived a recall election.