Sen. Tom Adelson announced today he’s running for mayor of Tulsa. The Tulsa World reports that Adelson, a 43-year-old Democrat says he loves his hometown and wants to help it grow. The city is battling its bottom line and furloughing employees in an effort to cut costs.
News reports haven’t said whether Adelson plans to keep his seat in the Senate while running for the top spot in Tulsa. Adelson was first elected to the Senate in 2004 and was re-elected to another 4-year term in 2008.
The mayor’s seat opened up after fellow Democrat Kathy Taylor announced she wouldn’t seek another term. At this point, Adelson’s toughest challenger seems to be Republican Dewey Bartlett Jr. It should be an interesting race as both men carry name recognition and a plethora of campaign support and dollars.
Adelson may not come across as the most charismatic guy. But when it comes to health care and health care funding, his knowledge is unmatched. The talents of the former Secretary of Health may not be appreciated by all in the Republican-led Senate. In fact earlier this year as Senate Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, was making his committee assignments Adelson wasn’t included on a key health and human services that he had once served on under bipartisan controlled Senate of the previous session. Coffee called Adelson and other vocal Democrats “obstructionists.”
This past legislation session may have proved frustrating for some Democrats. Bills were often decided along party lines, with Republicans carrying a majority. Several health care reform measures languished. While it hasn’t been reported what Adelson plans to do about his Senate seat, the sting of the previous session may have left an impression. Perhaps Adelson and his advisers think he could make more of a difference in his hometown as mayor of Tulsa then as a ranking Democrat in the Republican controlled Capitol.