Former Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor announced she plans to run for the position again in the next election.
FOX23 sat down with both Mayor Taylor and Mayoral candidate, Bill Christiansen about this news and what both candidates desire for our city and its future.
Taylor says she did not make the decision quickly, but instead spent long hours with her friends and family discussing the reasons why she would step back into government.
"Infrastructure, crime and education are the three things that we as a community need to come together and it has to be a community effort,” she says.
During her first term as Mayor, Taylor focused on the development of downtown with the BOK Center and the ONEOK Field ballpark. She also worked to add police officers and spent countless hours on street investment.
"I have had the opportunity to study over the last year how other cities have gotten to the top of their game, particularly in public education and that would be a priority,” she says.
Her opponent, Bill Christiansen says he welcomes her to the candidacy and looks forward to a respectful campaign. Christiansen has been a part of Tulsa’s city council for 10 years, but made the decision last year to run for Mayor.
"I had heard rumors and people had talked about it for three or four weeks, so no I wasn't really surprised,” he says.
Christiansen says part of an elected official’s job is to make sure the citizens of Tulsa feel secure, and that’s why he wants to boost public safety.
"I don't believe in my heart that we have enough police officers. I don't believe in my heart that we have enough 911 call center operators,” he says.
He says he is really looking forward to an open, transparent public debate campaign.
As for Mayor Dewey Bartlett’s future plans, he sent this statement to FOX23.
"It is too early to announce with five months remaining before the elections. Rather than focus on politics, my dedication to Tulsa will remain unchanged and I will focus on the things that have made Tulsa stronger over the last three years. It may be late next month before I make any formal announcement."
The municipal filing period to run for mayor is April 8th through the 10th -- with the general election scheduled for November 12th.
Here are Mayor Bartlett's comments about Taylor's announcement:
"I understand why people want to be mayor - Tulsa is a great city and it is a great job. Tulsa is on the right track and I am encouraged by the progress made over the last three years. Since I became mayor the business climate in Tulsa has turned around and over 14,000 new jobs have been added to our local economy. Crime rates are down and the OneTulsa philosophy is uniting our city and easing tensions within city hall. From a financial standpoint I came into office three years ago prepared to make the tough decisions in bad economic times. I was able to lead Tulsa through those difficult economic times by pairing back spending so that the city lived within its means without raising taxes. Today, the city rainy day fund holds $2 million as a result of my fiscally conservative leadership. My dedication to the city will remain unchanged despite the political undercurrents that come an go with the political seasons."