City Councilor Bill Christiansen officially began his race for Mayor of Tulsa Tuesday
morning at 10 am with a press conference and rally in Helmerich Park on South Riverside
Drive. Anyone following city politics
even casually knew of his interest, but this event made it official.
will be the first non-partisan mayor’s race in Tulsa history, it is significant
to note that Christiansen has long identified as a Republican as does the
current Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr.
Christiansen also claims “Conservative” which many mark a contrast
with the incumbent Bartlett.
was introduced to the audience by Daniel (Dan) Keeting who spoke in glowing
terms of their history and his conviction Christiansen should and will be the
next mayor of Tulsa. Brother of former
governor Frank; Dan Keating is President of Summit Consolidated Group, a
national brokerage and insurance company. He is a past president of Valley National
Bank in Tulsa where he presently serves on the Bank’s Board of Directors. Keating has been a delegate to three
Republican National Conventions. He is
the Chairman of the City of Tulsa’s Transportation Advisory Board and is a
member of Oklahoma Wesleyan University Foundation Board of Directors.
remarks, Christiansen said, “I established my business in Tulsa in 1972 and, looking
back forty years later, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
said he is starting his campaign early to meet with as many residents as
possible telling The Tulsa World’s Brian Barber, “I want to go out and build
relationships and listen to the citizens.”
observers suggest the early announcement was also timed to carry weight in
political considerations with a bevy of other potential candidates suspected
and, in some cases, reportedly interested in the mayor’s office. Regardless of the newly “non-partisan” titled
race; well-established advocates and leaders of both parties appear ready to
challenge Mayor Bartlett.
served for ten years on the Tulsa City Council and said, “Tulsa is a good city
and, with the right direction, it can be a great city.” Political observers noted the comment reflects
common public concern that current Mayor Dewey Bartlett is a nice guy, but not so
much an effective or strong leader.
said, “Tulsa is the best place in the country to work, play and raise a family;
not only for us, but for our children and grandchildren. It is no coincidence that I decided to make
my announcement here in Helmerich Park across from the Tulsa Police Department’s
Riverside Station – two elements in making the city the best place to work,
play and raise a family are public safety and plenty of good clean neighborhood
parks for our residents.”
priorities are; economic development, public safety, neighborhoods, and
streets,” Christiansen declared. “Tulsa
must be a city where all businesses can thrive and grow without government
interference. We need to help existing
business stay and grow here as well as recruit new businesses so that each
person that wants a job has an opportunity to get one.”
On public safety,
Christiansen said, “The people of Tulsa have a right to feel safe in their
neighborhoods and homes. We need more
police officers – police on the streets.
My goal will be to restore levels of staffing and service to at least
the level Tulsa had in 2009.”
home is his or her number one asset,” Christiansen said. “The city should help protect property values
and strengthen their neighborhoods.
Tulsa is only as vital as our neighborhoods,” he added.
he said “perception is everything. We
must continue the aggressive funding for street repair, maintenance and
widening to bring Tulsa’s streets to an acceptable level citywide. The condition of the streets in your
neighborhood directly affects your home’s value and your personal quality of
life. Good streets are essential for
Tulsa’s prosperity,” Christiansen added.
also addressed the last mayoral election when he seriously considered running
for the city’s top job by noting the time requirements of his city council
position, his business, and family obligations at that time prevented his race
for mayor. Now free of the restraint of
his city council job, Christiansen said, “My sons, thankfully, are now taking
over major responsibilities and running the family business. With reduced time commitments along with the
full support of my family and their understanding of what it will take for a
citywide race; I have decided to run for mayor of this fine city.”
27, Tulsa Today published an interview with former Councilor Christiansen on
efforts to provide public money for infrastructure upgrades at Tulsa
International Airport. (Click here to read, "No Airport tax needed.")
2, Christiansen held an open house and later client party to celebrate the
occasion of 40 years of success in the aviation business in Tulsa. (Click here to read “Christiansen Aviation celebrates 40 years of business” by The Tulsa World.”)
party was great fun with music provided by Mid Life Crisis, great local barbeque
and benefit efforts for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma. With hundreds attending that event, it was
clear that Bill Christiansen has developed over the years friends of all
political stripes from both political parties.
With stunt plane flyovers, antique planes and the latest jet aircraft on
display guests mingled and there was talk of this race.
asked Christiansen then about his plans, but he declined to comment on the
record. At that time with an easy laugh
saying, “Soon my friend.”
later is soon. As with all candidates regardless of party or, in this case,
newly nonpartisan efforts, Tulsa Today will provide ongoing coverage.
to reach Bill Christiansen’s “Mayor for all of Tulsa” campaign website.