Tulsa municipal elections usher in a new wave
BY BRIAN BARBER World Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
12/02/11 at 2:41 PM
Read more about Tulsa’s municipal elections.
Related story: 2 charter changes defeated.
Republican Blake Ewing defeated Democrat Ken Brune to represent City Council District 4 in one of Tulsa's most competitive races this election season.
Ewing received 57 percent of the vote Tuesday, compared with Brune's 43 percent.
The 32-year-old entrepreneur, known for the downtown restaurants Joe Momma's Pizza and Back Alley Blues & BBQ, as well as Boomtown Tees and the Max Retropub, said the election was "half a year of hard but rewarding work."
"I'm excited for the chance for Tulsa to have a fresh start," Ewing said from his watch party at the Church Studio. "2012 should be a year that all Tulsans are excited about. New blood will bring new ideas for the city."
Councilor Maria Barnes lost the seat in a primary election battle with Brune.
The next council will have seven new members, because four incumbents lost in September's primary election and three chose not to seek re-election.
Districts 1, 5: Councilor Jack Henderson, a Democrat, secured his seat at the primary stage, and newcomer Karen Gilbert defeated Councilor Chris Trail and another opponent in the GOP primary to win District 5.
Tuesday's general election, including District 4, saw six Republicans and one Democrat elected to the council.
It will be the first time in more than a decade that two women will serve on the council at the same time and the first time since 2005 that an attorney has not been among the council members.
District 2: Republican Jeannie Cue, a retired nurse, rose up over Democrat Phillip Oyler to represent the district, which has areas on the west and east sides of the Arkansas River.
Cue got 69 percent of the vote to Oyler's 31 percent.
Councilor Rick Westcott did not seek re-election.
Cue, a longtime west Tulsa advocate but political newcomer, said she looks forward to representing the District 2 constituents and plans to hold regular forums to gather public input.
"We're all in this together," she said. "We have to work as a team."
District 3: Democrat David Patrick, a former councilor and mechanic, was narrowly victorious over Republican David Bell to reclaim his seat.
Patrick received 53 percent of the vote to Bell's 47 percent.
"That was a lot closer than I like, but we'll take a win," he said with a chuckle. "It wasn't as close as some I've had."
Patrick defeated Councilor Roscoe Turner in the primary. The two have fought back and forth for the seat in numerous election cycles.
"I'm ready to go to work," he said. "We need to improve the image of Tulsa, and I think I can help with that."
District 6: Republican Byron "Skip" Steele, a computer repairman, trounced Democrat Robert Gwin Jr. to win the seat.
Steele received 77 percent of the votes to Gwin's 23 percent.
Steele, a political newcomer, defeated Councilor Jim Mautino in the GOP primary.
"It's a little overwhelming and quite humbling," he said of his win, adding that he's planning a town hall meeting for 7 p.m. Thursday at Martin Regional Library, 2601 S. Garnett Road.
District 7: Republican Thomas Mansur, a civil engineer, easily defeated Democrat Michael Rainwater for the seat held by Councilor John Eagleton, who did not seek re-election.
Mansur secured 74 percent of the vote to Rainwater's 26 percent.
Mansur, a newcomer to politics, said the new council is made up of "a good group of people with diverse backgrounds."
"I think we're all eager to get in there and collaborate on what's in the best interest of Tulsa," he said.
District 8: Republican Phil Lakin Jr., the Tulsa Community Foundation's CEO, overwhelmed Democrat William Suliburk to represent the south Tulsa district.
Councilor Bill Christiansen did not seek re-election to the seat after serving for nearly a decade.
Lakin got 75 percent of the vote to Suliburk's 25 percent.
Lakin, who unsuccessfully campaigned for the post in the last election, said he's excited about the opportunity to serve.
"I cannot wait to restore the good name that the City Council should have and help the council do what it should for the city," he said.
District 9: Councilor G.T. Bynum, a Republican, survived the anti-incumbent backlash to secure a third term in office.
"I know how the bald eagle felt when he came off the endangered species list a few years ago," he quipped after his win.
Bynum got 80 percent of the vote to Democrat Mike Batman's 20 percent - the largest margin of victory of the night.
Quoting Winston Churchill, Bynum said, "This is not the beginning of the end; this is just the end of the beginning."
"We have a whole lot of work to do now to earn the citizens' trust back and make them feel good about the government they have at City Hall," he said. "I'm going to be focused on that."
Batman showed up at Bynum's watch party with six trays of food to congratulate him.
The new council will be sworn in on Dec. 5.
New vs. old
District 1: Jack Henderson (D) - Jack Henderson (D)
District 2: Jeannie Cue (R) - Rick Westcott (R) (did not seek re-election)
District 3: David Patrick (D) - Roscoe Turner (D) (defeated in primary)
District 4: Blake Ewing (R) - Maria Barnes (D) (defeated in primary)
District 5: Karen Gilbert (R) - Chris Trail (R) (defeated in primary)
District 6: Byron "Skip" Steele (R) - Jim Mautino (R) (defeated in primary)
District 7: Thomas Mansur (R) - John Eagleton (R) (did not seek re-election)
District 8: Phil Lakin Jr. (R) - Bill Christiansen (R) (did not seek re-election)
District 9: G.T. Bynum (R) - G.T. Bynum (R)
Westville Public Schools
Proposition: $5.075 million bond for construction.
Failed 387 to 422
Bristow Public Schools
Proposition: $3.56 million bond for wireless technology infrastructure and new construction that includes new kindergarten building.
Passed 637 to 161
City of Grove
Proposition: 5-cent motel tax for tourism development.
Failed 313 to 731
City of Eufaula
Proposition: Extension of half-cent sales tax for capital improvements that include a new wastewater treatment plant and sewer and street upgrades.
Passed 179 to 34
Wilson Public Schools
Proposition No. 1: $65,000 bond for construction.
Passed 79 to 15
Proposition No. 2: $165,000 bond for transportation equipment.
Passed 73 to 21
Complete, unofficial results from the Tulsa County Election Board.
(x) winner (*) incumbent
x-Jeannie Cue, R 1,755
Phillip Oyler, D 795
x-David Patrick, D 1,157
David Bell, R 1,014
x-Blake Ewing, R 3,186
Ken Brune, D 2,433
x-Byron "Skip" Steele, R 1,365
Robert Gwin Jr., D 419
x-Thomas Mansur, R 2,244
Michael Rainwater, D 781
x-Phil Lakin Jr., R 4,316
William Suliburk, D 1,406
x-G.T. Bynum, R* 4,624
Mike Batman, D 1,154
Original Print Headline: Tulsa municipal elections usher in a new wave
Brian Barber 918-581-8322
Republican Blake Ewing hugs a supporter at a watch party Tuesday at the Church Studio. Ewing won the District 4 race for City Council. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
District 2 Republican candidate Jeannie Cue embraces her husband, Tom Cue, after defeating Democrat Phillip Oyler for City Council. jAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World
Jennifer Kisamore (right) smiles as her 22-month-old daughter, Jeralyn, smushes an 'I Voted' sticker on her face Tuesday at Precinct 63 at the Southminster Presbyterian Church. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World