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In a crowded event space at Nothing’s Left brewing Tuesday night, Representative Monroe Nichols officially launched his campaign for Tulsa mayor. Before an audience of roughly 100 people, Nichols promised to be a mayor who moves with “conviction” and builds trust.

“We have to have a mayor with the experience and conviction to move from talk to action,” Nichols said.

That action includes a focus on education, housing, safety and building an equitable economy.

Traditionally, education has been separate from the focus of City Hall. In Tulsa, the city government has no jurisdiction over local school districts. However, Nichols says he sees the success of Tulsa’s students as the city’s responsibility too.

“If elected, the days of education not being the job of the mayor are over,” he said.

Nichols was the only candidate currently in the race to publicly decry Ryan Walters’ attempted takeover of TPS. As mayor, he says his administration will “support strong, well functioning local school boards” and “work next to school leaders” to help ensure student success.

As mayor, Nichols promises to hold his administration accountable “for better results for every kid in this city; from the day they are born, until the day they go to work.”

Monroe Nichols seeks to make history in race for Tulsa mayor

Representative Nichols also announced he will focus on strengthening Tulsa’s partnership with tribal nations. The candidate promised that he would “appoint a director of tribal policy and partnerships” in the mayor’s office.

“I don’t believe a strong Tulsa is possible without a solid acknowledgement of tribal sovereignty,” Nichols said to applause from the audience.

If elected, he will also become the first Black mayor in Tulsa’s history. The 2024 election comes as Tulsa remains in the spotlight following the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

“With the entire nation watching,” Nichols said, “we’re going to win this race.”

Nichols was joined on stage during the night by former Mayor Kathy Taylor and State Senator Jo Anna Dossett. Both leaders stressed the work ahead for Nichols’ campaign, who has set a goal of raising $1.2 million before next August.

Dossett urged the crowd to donate and to volunteer to “hit the doors for Monroe”.

Nichols was the first candidate to announce his run for mayor when he threw his hat into the ring in July. He has since been joined by County Commissioner Karen Keith and City Councilor Jayme Fowler.

“We’ve got a long road ahead,” Nichols told the crowd, “but it’s certainly a journey worth traveling. Because at the end of this journey, is all we hope this city can be.”

Nate Morris moved to the Tulsa area in 2012 and has committed himself to helping build a more equitable and just future for everyone who calls the city home. As a teacher, advocate, community organizer...

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