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Seeking to become the next mayor for Tulsa, Oklahoma State Rep. Monroe Nichols received major endorsements from a former Tulsa mayor and two former Oklahoma governors on Tuesday.

With current Mayor G.T. Bynum not seeking reelection, voters currently have three candidates from which to choose.

Monroe Nichols, 40, is a Democratic state lawmaker and founder of an educational nonprofit. Republican Jayme Fowler is a Tulsa City Councilor for District 9, and Democrat Karen Keith is a Tulsa County Commissioner.

“I know what it takes to lead our city, and I’ve known the candidates in this race for years,” former Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor said in a press release shared by Nichols’ campaign on Tuesday. She represented the city from 2006-2009.  

monroe nichols for tulsa mayor
Kathy Taylor (Courtesy of Tulsa Historical Society)

“When it comes to who will best serve Tulsa as our next mayor the choice is clear,” Taylor added. “Monroe has the energy, the ideas, and the experience to lead a coalition focused on creating economic opportunity for every Tulsa family.”

Endorsing Monroe Nichols for Tulsa Mayor

Two former Democratic governors also weighed in, giving Nichols their full backing.

“Tulsa is a wonderful community brimming with unmatched potential,” former Gov. Brad Henry said. One of Oklahoma’s more popular governors, Henry served from 2003 to 2001 until he was term limited.

“It’s essential for the next mayor to have a vision for the future and the experience and aptitude to build an infrastructure around that vision,” Henry said.

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Then-Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry speaks to the House and Senate members in the Oklahoma House Chamber during the State of the State address to a joint session of the Oklahoma Legislature Feb. 1, 2010, in Oklahoma City. Henry will speak at OU March 3.Alonzo Adams/AP Photo

“I believe Monroe Nichols is best suited to harness the city’s incredible potential, and I am proud to enthusiastically endorse him for Tulsa’s next mayor,” Henry said.

Former Democratic Gov. David Walters, who served from 1991 to 1995, called Nichols an “aggressive advocate.”

“You don’t get opportunities to elect leaders like Monroe Nichols often,” Walters said. “If Tulsans want a mayor that will be an aggressive advocate for Tulsa families in every neighborhood, I urge them to support Monroe Nichols for mayor.”

Former Oklahoma Governor David Walters (X)

Nichols wants to deliver for Tulsa

Nichols currently serves as chair of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus with degrees in economics and political science. He would become the first Black mayor of a city reckoning with its racial past if elected on Tuesday, August 27, 2024.

He was also the first African American to represent District 72, which encompasses much of majority-Black North Tulsa, working-class west Tulsa, and rural areas to the north of the city.

He’s running on a platform to expand economic opportunity and business development, to improve educational outcomes and to address public safety.

“We have to start to make sure there is equitable growth across this community,” Nichols previously told The Black Wall Street Times after he entered the race in July. “It’s not just the right thing to do – it’s the only pathway for us to be competitive.”

In 2014, Nichols helped to launch Impact Tulsa. It’s a non-profit that has become crucial in the efforts to address educational inequity across the city. Public education isn’t normally part of the mayor’s agenda. Yet, Nichols said he believes the city should be more active in addressing disparities.

“This is not a failure of educators, this is a failure of urban communities to make sure schools and students can thrive,” he said.

Deon Osborne was born in Minneapolis, MN and raised in Lawton, OK before moving to Norman where he attended the University of Oklahoma. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Media and has...

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