Voters oust 4 councilors
BY P.J. LASSEK & BRIAN BARBER World Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
9/14/11 at 1:03 PM
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By the numbers: Precinct by precinct (unofficial results).
Read stories on the candidates, see district maps and additional web links.
Voters exacted their revenge in Tuesday's primary elections, ousting four of the six incumbents who sought re-election.
Surviving the bloodbath were District 1 Councilor Jack Henderson, who won outright, and District 9 Councilor G.T. Bynum, who will advance to the Nov. 8 general election.
Voters in District 5 chose Karen Gilbert as their new representative over Councilor Chris Trail and Sam Roop.
The District 1 and 5 seats were determined in Tuesday's primaries because both failed to draw opponents from the opposite political party.
In addition to Trail, other incumbents falling to challengers were District 4's Maria Barnes, District 6's Jim Mautino and District 3's Roscoe Turner.
Councilors Rick Westcott, Bill Christiansen and John Eagleton did not seek re-election this year.
Of the 201,586 registered voters, only 132,351 - or 65 percent - were eligible to vote in the 12 district primaries. A total of 21,985 votes - or 16 percent - were cast, Tulsa County Election Board officials said.
This year's elections start the process of converting councilors to three-year, staggered terms. Districts 1, 4 and 7 start as one-year terms; Districts 2 , 5 and 8 will be two-year terms; and Districts 3, 6, and 9 are three-year terms.
In District 1, Henderson defeated his Democratic primary challengers in a landslide vote to capture a fifth term.
"I feel great. There's so much left to do in north Tulsa. I'm proud that the people want me back," he said.
Henderson received 78 percent of the vote, while Twan Jones got 11 percent and Jason Trent II had 11 percent.
District 1 has 14,718 Democrats but only 1,742 Republicans and 1,651 independents, Tulsa County Election Board records show.
In District 5, Gilbert, a Tulsa Public Schools secretary, said she was overwhelmed by her win over both Trail and Roop, a former councilor, in the Republican primary.
"I think the voters were clear that they wanted a change," said Gilbert, the wife of Tulsa World chief photographer Tom Gilbert. "They want something different. They just want a new face, fresh ideas and a fresh voice."
Gilbert received 41 percent of the vote to Roop's 39 percent and Trail's 20 percent.
Roop said he knew all along the race was between him and Gilbert, "and I knew it would be close."
"I think the redistricting had something to do with her win because a lot of people seemed confused as to who their councilor was, and I just think Gilbert worked real hard," he said.
Roop said he expected Trail to be a distant third.
"He was not liked out in the district at all," Roop said
Trail said the outcome appears to be "the anti-incumbents deal."
"The voters didn't judge me on what I've been able to do and how I've been able to work with the mayor," he said.
"They just looked at the council as a whole and judged me on the deeds of the council and didn't judge me on what I was able to do," he said.
District 5 has 8,921 Republicans, 9,279 Democrats and 2,369 independents, Tulsa County Election Board registration records show.
Seven of the nine council races had their candidate fields pared down Tuesday to move on the general election.
District 2: Retired nurse Jeannie Cue captured the GOP nod with 36 percent in a field of four candidates.
Judith Adams received 28 percent, Nancy Rothman got 19 percent and Matthew Foster 17 percent.
Cue now faces Democrat Phillip Oyler in the general election. Oyler had no primary challenger.
"I think the voters made it clear that they want us to be positive and work on making the city grow," Cue said of her primary win.
When asked why she thought she was able to overcome her three opponents, she responded: "It must be the blisters on my feet."
Cue said the campaign battle isn't over and that she will continue walking the district to meet voters.
The seat is open since Councilor Rick Westcott decided not to seek re-election.
District 2 has 11,013 Republicans, 8,698 Democrats and 3,165 independents, Tulsa County Election Board registration records show.
District 3: Patrick won the Democratic nomination over Turner with 60 percent of the vote to 40 percent. The two have had a tug-of-war over the seat for the past decade.
Republican David Bell defeated Randall Reese with 77 percent of the vote for the GOP nomination.
Patrick said the outcome speaks loudly that "people are really dissatisfied with what has been going on at City Hall for that past couple of years."
"They want a change and they are getting mostly a whole new City Council," he said. "This is one of these kinds of deals that we're going to have to all work together for the good of the city."
Turner attributed his loss to the redistricting in which he lost three precincts of mostly black voters.
"Those precincts would have turned the tide," he said.
Turner said his next focus is supporting the council-city manager question that will be on the general election ballot.
"I want to see this one through," he said about changing the city's form of government.
Bell, recounting his primary win, said the election hasn't been easy, "but nothing comes easy."
"This is all new to me," he said. "But, I'm disappointed how the Tulsa Metro Chamber money has bought these people and it just makes me sick."
Patrick and Bell now advance to the general election.
The district has 8,555 Democrats, 4,883 Republicans and 2,253 independents, Tulsa County Election Board registration records show.
District 4: Barnes, who was seeking a third term, lost the Democratic nomination to attorney Ken Brune, who got 54 percent of the vote.
In the GOP primary, downtown businessman Blake Ewing defeated two challengers with 59 percent of the vote. Liz Hunt got 36 percent and Rocky Frisco got 5 percent.
Brune and Ewing are advancing to the general election.
Ewing said he's going to try to reach out to all voters for the next round.
"Across the city, we obviously had an anti-incumbent thing," he said. "I think a good number of Ken's votes were votes against Maria. Not necessarily for Ken. So I think we have to take a different approach.
"But our message is going to stay the same: Passionate people caring about our city and being people of vision who want Tulsa to be a better place."
Brune and Barnes were unavailable for comment.
District 4 has 11,312 Democrats, 10,396 Republicans and 3,392 independents, registration show.
District 6: Byron "Skip" Steele, a self-employed computer repairman, stopped Mautino from getting a third term by securing 62 percent of the vote in the Republican primary to Mautino's 38 percent.
"I felt like I was the underdog all along," Steele said. "I had no expectations going into this. But what I think you're seeing is that dissatisfaction with the City Council that inspired people to vote."
Mautino said he still won because now he can spend more time with his family and fixing up his house.
But, he said, 'The chamber, Biz Pac and (former councilor) Art Justis won this campaign, and Skip Steele is Charlie McCarthy (ventriloquist dummy)."
Steele will face Democrat Robert Gwin Jr., who did not have a primary, in the general election.
District 6 has 7,489 Republicans, 7,331 Democrats and 2,377 independents, Tulsa County Election Board records show.
District 7: Thomas Mansur, a civil engineer, surpassed Steven Roemerman and Elliott Parker Sr. to secure the Republican nomination.
Mansur got 54 percent of the votes to Roemerman's 39 percent and Parker's 7 percent in the primary.
Mansur said that, because of the heat and work, he didn't get to go door-to-door much, but he sent out mailers and offered up his phone number so people could call with questions.
"I have just presented myself as an average guy whose never been in politics - and that's what I am," he said. "I don't know it scientifically but I think people responded to that."
Michael Rainwater, a retired state Department of Human Resources supervisor, beat Bobby Bookout Jr. for the Democratic nomination, with 79 percent of the vote. Rainwater was unavailable for comment.
Mansur and Rainwater will compete in the general election.
This is an open council seat since Councilor John Eagleton decided not to seek reelection.
District 7 is a GOP stronghold, with 12,434 Republicans, 7,982 Democrats and 2,769 independents, Tulsa County Election Board records show.
District 8: Phil Lakin Jr., the Tulsa Community Foundation CEO, defeated George Gibbs for the GOP nomination, 54 percent to 46 percent.
"I feel very honored, but there's still another round and I'm going to keep working hard for the district's support," he said.
Lakin will face Democrat William Suliburk, who did not have a primary, in the general election.
The seat is open since Councilor Bill Christiansen decided not to seek reelection.
District 8 has 19,921 GOP voters, 7,086 Democrats and 3,129 independents, Tulsa County Election Board registration records show.
District 9: Bynum easily trounced fellow Republican challengers Robert Pinney, Kimberlee Whiteman and Doug Rucker.
"What I've been hearing from people for the last year and half is that they're sick of personal attacks and want the city of Tulsa to back to business, put folks back to work and you're seeing that as a general trend tonight," he said of his council colleagues getting ousted.
Bynum got 71 percent, compared to 21 percent for Pinney, 6 percent for Whiteman and 2 percent for Rucker.
"I'm awful lucky to have the kind of constituents that pay attention to what is going on at City Hall, that pay attention to the issues and see that I've tried to make a positive impact and get things done, rather than slip into the personal back and forth that we've seen too much of at City Hall," Bynum said.
Bynum advances to the general election to face Democrat Mike Batman, who had no primary opponent.
District 9 has 14,496 Republicans, 10,871 Democrats and 2,975 independents, Tulsa County Election Board registration records show.
General election: Nov. 8
Voter registration deadline: Oct. 11
Absentee ballot request deadline: Nov. 2
Seven of the nine Tulsa City Council seats will be determined in the Nov. 8 general election. Two seats were determined Tuesday, when Jack Henderson won District 1 and Karen Gilbert won District 5.
On the ballot
City of Oilton
Proposition I: One percent sales tax for street improvements.
Passed 137 to 34
Proposition II: Extension of one-cent sales tax for construction and improvement of facilities and transportation and equipment at Oilton Public Schools.
Passed 144 to 26
City of Chouteau
Proposition: Should $7 fee be added to utility bill to hire additional full-time firefighters? Fee will be permanent until repealed by voters.
Failed 337 (n) to 93 (y)
City of Pryor
Proposition: Should election resolution be changed from December to November, the filing period from January to December and the month for election from March to February and May to April, respectfully, for the offices of mayor, police chief, city clerk, city treasurer and council member, and allow the city council to set election dates by resolution instead of having to amend charter?
Passed 152 to 40
Half-cent sales tax for refurbishing/expanding county courthouse.
Failed 2,738 (n) to 803 (y)
City of Pawnee
Ward I Councilmember
Wayne Ingle 277
Gwendolyn J. Williams 156
Mayor (Vote for one)
x - Brad Sewell 183
Keith Cheatham 101
Alford Majors 52
George Elton Howell 42
Tom Briggs 37
Christine Linder 27
Michael McQuown 18
Roger C. Brashear 16
Jimmy Horn 11
Oak Grove Public Schools
Proposition I: $45,000 bond for construction.
Passed 67 to 12
Proposition II: $80,000 bond for transportation equipment.
Passed 67 to 13
P.J. Lassek 918-581-8382 Brian Barber 918-581-8322
Karen Gilbert greets friend Al Bush at her watch party for the District 5 Republican primary seat, taken at the Spudder restaurant in Tulsa on Tuesday. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World
Councilor Jack Henderson ( left) hugs his grandson Jacob Henderson during the incumbent's watch party at the Gilcrease Hills Clubhouse. Jack Henderson won the District 1 seat on Tuesday. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World
Byron "Skip" Steele III (right) talks to his mother and high-fives his nephew, Jonathan Steele, during a watch party at his brother's south Tulsa house. Byron Steele won the Republican primary in District 6 on Tuesday. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World
District 2: Oyler (D)
District 2: Cue (R)
District 3: Patrick (D)
District 3: Bell (R)
District 4: Brune (D)
District 4: Ewing (R)
District 6: Gwin (D)
District 6: Steele (R)
District 7: Rainwater (D)
District 7: Mansur (R)
District 8: Suliburk (D)
District 8: Lakin (R)
District 9: Bynum (R)
District 9: Batman (D)