Even though Mayor G.T. Bynum won’t be leaving his position for another 23 months, the pool of potential successors is expanding daily. In any case, that’s how it appears. All of them are well-known figures in American culture: Carol Bush, Karen Keith, Dave Rader, Monroe Nichols, Phil Lakin, Jayme Fowler and John O’Connor. You can find details relating to who is Tulsa’s next Mayor below.
It should be emphasized that no one on the list is a sure yes. Last week, they told the Tulsa World that they are considering it and that they will update the people of Tulsa as soon as they make a decision. It won’t be possible for anybody to run for mayor until June 2024, with the election itself happening in August and a possible runoff in November.
Who is Tulsa’s Next Mayor? Here is the List of Candidates
Who is Tulsa’s Next Mayor? The 41st mayor of Tulsa will not take office until December 2, 2024. As a result, we can expect a shift in this scenario. For the time being however below are brief biographies of the prospective candidates, along with the stated reasons they are considering running for mayor. City elections in Tulsa are officially nonpartisan.
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Bush, who served as the longstanding executive director of the Tulsa Crime Prevention Network (now known as Tulsa Crime Stoppers), believes that her six years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives solidified the notion that she is “a Tulsa gal.”
Bush remarked, “Tulsa is a different beast than the rest of the state, and I think I have a lot to give with the diversified history that I have had and everything that I have done through my decades here in the city.” I’d like the chance to play a role in our city’s progress and development, and I believe I can make a constructive contribution. Bush has signed up with the Republican Party. In 2016, she won reelection as the representative for California’s 70th Assembly District. She made the decision to not run for reelection last year.
Bush claimed that running for mayor was “one of the things I wanted to accomplish” after he decided not to run for reelection to the state legislature. After that, I placed it on the back burner, but now it’s back in front of my mind. I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I want to determine within the next few weeks whether or not to stay in this area.
The 64-year-old money manager is serving in City Council for the second time, but he claims he gets calls every day from people looking for other government jobs. As Fowler put it, “not a day goes by” without someone asking if he plans to run for mayor. My wife and I have talked about this, and she has given her approval. I haven’t completely ruled anything out yet, and I’m looking into it.
Fowler has worked in big cities all around the country, and both of his parents spent their careers teaching in the Tulsa Public Schools. The Republican has made improving the area around 61st Street and Peoria Avenue one of his primary priorities since being elected to the City Council in 2020.
A profound appreciation for what we can do in Tulsa has been instilled in me through these encounters. I love interacting with people from all walks of life, and I always wake up wondering what we can do to improve life in Tulsa.
Keith is a Tulsa County commissioner for District 2, a position she clearly enjoys. In 2024, when her fourth four-year tenure ends, she will be in a prime position to start a new career. She isn’t actively seeking employment at this time but claims that many individuals have suggested that she check into a position with the city government.
Keith remarked, “Anyone who knows me understands my passion for Tulsa.” When individuals I know and don’t know ask me to run, I feel honored. That being said, I am strongly considering taking on this role.
Before joining Mayor Bill LaFortune’s administration, Keith had a successful career in local television. During her time there, she played a key role in the successful adoption of the Vision 2025 sales tax package. Before her 2008 election to the County Commission, she worked for the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce.
As someone who has worked in City Hall before, Keith has a lot of admiration for the people who work there and their commitment to keeping Tulsa the wonderful place that it is. My goal would be to continue the positive trend of recent years by bolstering public and private investments in infrastructure, expanding economic possibilities, and enhancing people’s standard of living.
During the next three months Keith a registered Democrat plans to talk to her loved ones, friends, and coworkers about how she might best serve the community.
Since 2011, the longstanding head of the Tulsa Community Foundation has represented District 8 on the city council. Those who are familiar with Lakin’s background will recognize the reasoning behind his possible mayoral bid. The city of Tulsa has always meant a lot to me, and it always will, he said. That’s why I’ve spent the last several years on the city council and before that as the head of the Tulsa Community Foundation: because I love our community and want to see it thrive.
Lakin a Republican has been serving on the City Council for a long time, and this is reflected in the many committees to which he has been appointed. He was instrumental in passing three capital improvement packages, including money for street widening projects and a dam in south Tulsa, and he also spearheaded a multimillion-dollar campaign to overhaul the city’s municipal court system.
The work and opportunities are never-ending, but we have done a good job and developed amazing momentum, Lakin added. From “visionary components that influence our quality of life” to “core services” like company recruitment, street repairs, and public safety, “I want to continue to lead our city in delivering what it should be to its residents.”
The 55-year-old man who has served as leader of the City Council twice said it would be a privilege to serve as mayor of his city. He remarked, “I hope to make a definitive decision shortly.” Meanwhile, I’ll keep giving this city everything I’ve got, every day.
Nichols, now 39, was just re-elected to represent House District 72 in the state legislature for a fourth term. Over ten years ago, while working for Mayor Kathy Taylor, he initially gained widespread recognition. Immediately upon graduation from university, Nichols worked in the Mayor’s office. Because of the everyday effects of your work at the local level, “what I remember most fondly about that was the intimate relationship you had with constituents.”
Later in his career, Nichols served as the director of business retention and expansion initiatives for the Tulsa Regional Chamber and as the chief of staff to then-OU-Tulsa president Gerry Clancy. In 2014, he co-founded the nonprofit organization Impact Tulsa.
Democrat Nichols said he’s had a good time in Oklahoma City, but that it hasn’t been quite the same as his daily meetings with people in City Hall.
He warned that “the higher you get in that direction, the further away you are from people.” As a result, “And so I have always been really passionate about returning back and serving back in City Hall.“
To suggest that the former state attorney general is “contemplating” a run for mayor is a bit of an exaggeration, but he does admit that the idea has crossed his mind. Several people whom O’Connor holds in high regard and who share his passion for Tulsa have approached him about the possibility, and he has been asked whether he is interested. What I’ve told them is that I’m thinking about it and discussing it with Lucia, my wife.
“I’m going to give that some thought.”
After Attorney General Mike Hunter resigned in July 2021, Governor Kevin Stitt appointed O’Connor to the position. O’Connor lost the primary election in June, ending his hopes of serving out the entire four years of his term. On Monday, Gentner Drummond was sworn in.
O’Connor, a Republican in his 68s, was a political newcomer when he decided to run for attorney general.
In that case, why even consider running for mayor? I agree with what O’Connor has said about the need for leadership and vision. O’Connor has expressed his hope that the city’s renewed vigor and momentum under Bynum’s tenure will continue and even accelerate, but he acknowledges that this will take additional strong leadership.
In order to maintain job growth, we must continue to attract new employers. O’Connor argued for creative solutions to the problem of people working for out-of-state companies yet based in Tulsa. Every facet of leadership is important, thus in my opinion it does matter.
Rader, now 65 years old, first gained notoriety as a football star. Will Rogers High School and the University of Tulsa both used him as their starting quarterback. He spent the next four decades coaching at the collegiate level, including 12 as head coach at his alma institution. Rader has an equally impressive history of public service on his portfolio. He has served on the boards of directors for the John 3:16 Mission and other organizations, in addition to serving for the past six years as the state senator for District 39 (he is currently serving his second four-year term).
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Rader admitted that he is considering a run for mayor, but that his current responsibilities at the state Capitol have prevented him from doing so. The Republican senator stated that he would run for mayor of Tulsa because of his deep affection for the city. Being elected mayor would be a huge honor, but I haven’t made up my mind yet.
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