TULSA - In his first public announcement, District 4 Tulsa City Councilor Blake Ewing said he will seek re-election in what would be the councilor's third consecutive term in office. Challenging the two-time incumbent is former Bartlett campaign manager Dan Patten.
Ewing says the continuity and success of the council are some of the driving factors in his decision to defend his seat.
"We've got such great representation in the City of Tulsa right now across the board and I really love the people that I work with. I feel like we're set up to accomplish some great things. I think we had some real wins last year with Improve Our Tulsa specifically," he said.
Ewing also says there is unfinished business he and his eight colleagues must tend to so that the city can continue its growth.
"We've got some budget issues to work out. We've got hotel/motel tax expiring we've got to figure out. There are some issues we're facing right now, and I hate for that momentum to kind of falter a little bit."
Ewing says there were times last year when the decision to run again weighed on him. A father and the owner of a number of local businesses, Ewing says the mayor's race and work to pass Improve Our Tulsa meant changing dynamics in his leadership over District 4. That, he says, is why he left open his options.
"As things started to shape up this year and I saw what the landscape was, it kind of became apparent to me that it was time to sign-up and do it again," he explained.
Signing his own candidacy papers this year is Mayor Dewey Bartlett's former campaign manager Dan Patten.
Patten, a University of Tulsa graduate who was raised in district 4, says he'd be honored to represent the district.
"I love Tulsa, and I particularly love this area of Tulsa. To me, it's all about giving back and just taking care of the district and making it be the best possible district it can be," Patten said.
If elected, Patten says his first order of business will be fulfilling the basic needs of constituents. He says those are fixes like pot holes and debris pick up.
Patten, who knows Ewing, says he has a great deal of respect for the well-known businessman.
"I think he's a great entrepreneur. I think sometimes he can be a better city councilor. I might be a little more level headed. He's got a big vision for things and he's got a great vision. When he gets behind that, he pushes as hard as he can. I agree with his vision, but I also think at times you've got work with a lot of other people and I think that would maybe one area where I could work better than Councilor Ewing."
When asked if his relationship with Mayor Bartlett would cloud his ability to perform his duties as councilor if elected, Patten stressed that he wants to work with the mayor and not for the mayor.
"I think there's a lot of good ideas he has and there's a lot of good ideas I have. I also think I have a unique perspective because I have a lot of respect with him and we know each other really well to where if we disagree, I think I can very respectfully disagree with him and he'd probably be more prone to listen. "
Patten says he recognizes the difficult task in unseating an incumbent but believes he has the ability to beat Ewing. He's already been knocking on doors in District 4.
Ewing says he believes he will retain his seat.
"I'm proud of the job I've done at responding to those needs. And so I think be it the business side or the neighborhood side, you're going to generally see the people in district 4 felt like they had a representative who cared about their specific interests and worked hard to protect them."
Patten says he'll officially become a candidate when he files in April. Filing dates for city offices are April 14-16.
The primary is June 24.
The General Election is Nov. 4.