Mayoral candidate Kathy Taylor announced the formation of a new organization consisting of Republicans who support her campaign Thursday.
They're calling it "Republicans for Taylor."
Taylor, also a former mayor, gathered several of her supporters together to make the announcement in the yard of a private home in midtown.
- Steve Dobbs, Republican, CEO, Urologic Specialists of Oklahoma, and former CEO, Hillcrest Medical Center
- Georgenia Van Tuyl, Republican, attorney and former Tulsa County Municipal Judge
- Paul Bowman, Republican, former Marine and owner, Bowman Ranch
- Molly Pelligrini, Republican, Tulsa area developer
- Tony Agostino, Republican, owner, Brass Ring Properties
KRMG spoke with several of them after the formal announcement.
Bowman and Dobbs told us they had never voted for a Democrat in any race; Agostino said he had done so once.
They all pointed to the preeminence of local issues over national politics, and their belief in Taylor's leadership skills, vision for the city's future, and ability to build coalitions.
Agostino summed it up this way: "This hits close to home, this my reality, this is where my children are. This is very important, this is my day-to-day, this is not long-term stuff, this is my experience for my children, right now."
Dobbs said he finds Taylor well-suited to building coalitions.
"I think one word for me is 'collaborative,' he told KRMG. "She's all about bringing people together, no matter what it is."
Asked about an ad purchased by Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine which refers to Taylor as "Obama's candidate," Bowman was dismissive.
"To me, that's not what concerns me when I'm driving down the streets in Tulsa trying to get somewhere, and construction's horrible, it's been there for months, if not longer."
Agostino also shared how he had strongly opposed the construction of ONEOK Field, the new home of the Tulsa Drillers in downtown Tulsa, a project that Taylor faced bitter opposition on when she backed it during her administration.
He had an epiphany, he said, when he was recently found himself walking to a ballgame downtown with his 11-month-old son and 3-year-old daughter and he realized Taylor had been right.
"She stayed the course," he told KRMG. "She may not always do what I want her to do, but she has a vision, and the backbone to see it through."