TULSA - Kathy Taylor lost the race to become the next mayor of Tulsa on Tuesday night, losing by a sizable margin to incumbent Dewey Bartlett.
In a campaign that some people thought got progressively more contentious near the end, and despite gaining endorsements from former city councilman Bill Christiansen, the Tulsa World, and several labor groups including the police and fire unions, Taylor was unable to beat Bartlett.
Taylor was first elected mayor in 2006, beating Bill LaFortune.
She served one term, then stepped down after announcing in June 2009 that she would not seek re-election.
Taylor said at the time she believed she needed to focus on keeping Tulsa from falling into the economic free-fall that had hit most of the U.S. in late 2008.
She felt it was more important to focus on keeping the city running, rather than running a political campaign, she said.
After leaving office, Taylor was picked by Governor Brad Henry to work as his top education adviser; she had previously served with the Henry administration as Secretary of Commerce and Tourism.
The Bartlett camp successfully portrayed her as having "quit" the office, and a last-minute controversy over an intern who camped outside Bartlett's home on a Saturday may have brought some undecided voters over to the Bartlett side of the equation.
The election cycle was long, with candidates filing in April and running in the initial primary in June.
The Taylor campaign reportedly outspent the Bartlett camp by a margin of more than three to one, but the message apparently didn't resonate with voters.