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Classroom teachers union endorses Bynum for mayor

Classroom teachers union endorses Bynum for mayor


Updated Yesterday

The Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association announced its first-ever endorsement of a Tulsa mayoral candidate Saturday, tapping Councilor G.T. Bynum for the office.

Bynum is challenging Mayor Dewey Bartlett, who both go to the polls June 28 alongside three other candidates in a non-partisan primary vote in which any registered voter may participate.

The teacher’s union endorsement of Bynum joins the police and fire unions, who endorsed Bynum previously.

Shawna Mott-Wright, TCTA vice president, said she doesn’t know why the teachers union hasn’t endorsed a mayoral candidate before, despite regularly endorsing candidates in state and other races. The organization has been in existence since the 1930s.

Mott-Wright said the frustration teachers have had — particularly this year — highlighted the need to take a stance in local leadership.

“We need a leader for our city who is going to step up and make the hard decisions — the right decisions,” Mott-Wright said. “We need someone with a backbone who will do what is right regardless of party affiliation and regardless of the politics of all of it.”

Since Bynum announced his candidacy last year, education has been one of the top issues in his platform. As part of his stump speech, Bynum calls for a focus on education, modernization of the Tulsa city-county relationship and an overarching goal of making Tulsa nationally competitive.

“For too long, the Tulsa city government has taken a pass on true leadership in the field of education,” Bynum said in a statement. “This must change, and I am thankful Tulsa teachers agree. I look forward to working with the TCTA to make this the best place in Oklahoma to receive an education.”

Bartlett, too, has championed education in his platform, highlighting the aerospace academy he helped create to give high-school students hands-on learning in engineering and manufacturing.

The academy is currently just one class, but Bartlett hopes to have versions of it accessible to every high school in Tulsa in his next term.

The June 28 primary vote could elect a candidate outright if any one of them gets more than 50 percent of the votes.

If none gets more than half of the votes, an August runoff election is possible before the two front runners will go to a general election Nov. 8.