Candidates look at surprises in mayoral election

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 11/13/2013 5:20 pm Published: 11/13/2013 4:03 pm

Less than 24 hours after voters reelected Mayor Dewey Bartlett for a second term both he and challenger Kathy Taylor are looking at what changed the tide after Taylor had much higher numbers in the primary in June.

Even though the mayor's election is supposed to be non-partisan, both hinted that partisan politics played a role.

There was also a specific event last week that may have changed some voters' minds.

"The stalker episode; that pretty much solidified things as far as I was concerned," said Bartlett.

That so-called stalker was a Taylor campaign intern who followed Bartlett around to non-scheduled events, but was approached by a police officer while camped outside Bartlett's home. It's something Bartlett called over the line.

Taylor told FOX23 that Bartlett had people at her home as well throughout the campaign; she just chose not to use that as a campaign tool.

"That was political theater so he didn't have to talk about the issues of the budget, of the crime that's out of control, and the lack of honesty at City Hall," she said

Bartlett also said that with many of Bill Christiansen's conservative supporters backing him after Christiansen lost the primary, he thinks political party played a role, too.

"A pretty good contrast between Kathy Taylor's philosophy of being more of a Democrat, big liberal kind of government approach and my conservative approach that people have seen in the past," said Bartlett.

Taylor said making it a partisan race was another political stunt by Bartlett to avoid actually talking about the issues.

"I was so proud when Mayor LaFortune and I ran a very issues-based campaign. We had the highest voter turnout in any mayor's race in the history of Tulsa," said Taylor.

Taylor said low voter turnout also hurt her. She thinks higher turnout would have played in her favor.

Bartlett said he thinks the percentages would have been the same either way.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

bowlerdave - 11/14/2013 8:20 AM
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The first thing to change everyone's mind was the simple fact that everyone was reminded that the Floridian was already mayor once, and they were reminded of the job she did the first time. That pretty much did it. #2 was the constant non-stop commercials, over and over and over from the Taylor camp. Hey Taylor, how do you know a movie sucks? They show 50 million commercials for it hoping someone will be fool enough to buy a ticket. But if a movie is awesome, there will only be a few commercials reminding everyone it is coming soon. #3, obviously, the stalker with his cocky self-important smile while he was saying he did nothing wrong and was only reading a book. Seriously, name me one person that didn't want to slap that smug smile off his face. #4, the lesser of two evils. While Dewey isn't much better, he isn't worse.
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