G.T. Bynum.

City Councilor and mayoral candidate G.T. Bynum has been endorsed by the local firefighters’ political action committee.

Former Firefighters Local 176 union President Sandy McGhee made the announcement in a press release issued Friday morning.

“As a city councilor, G.T. has been steadfast in his support for the Tulsa Fire Department. His strong commitment to public safety and unwavering advocacy for our firefighters greatly benefits the citizens of Tulsa,” McGhee said.  “It is because of his unyielding determination to better this city and his understanding that it cannot be done without public safety as a top priority that the Tulsa Fire Fighter’s Political Action Committee proudly endorses G.T. Bynum for Tulsa mayor.”

Bynum, 38, is challenging incumbent Mayor Dewey Bartlett. Bartlett, 69, is seeking a third term in office.

Bynum said in a prepared statement Friday that the city needs a leader who will support its firefighters.

“Public Safety is the most vital role of any municipal government. As a member of the Tulsa City Council, I have always worked with my colleagues to improve public safety and will continue to do so as mayor,” Bynum said. 

Bynum said that when he worked at the Red Cross he saw first hand the work being done by firefighters.

“I routinely joined firefighters at the scene of house fires in order to assist displaced families.  That experience gave me tremendous admiration for the courage and selflessness our firefighters display in protecting Tulsans,” he said. “I am honored to stand with these heroes as we continue to grow a coalition that will unite Tulsans and leave this city better for generations to come.”

Under the city’s nonpartisan election format, all five candidates for mayor will meet in a June 28 primary. Should a candidate receive more than 50 percent of the vote on that day, he would become Tulsa’s next mayor and be sworn in in December.

The general election, if needed, would be Nov. 8.

The other mayoral candidates are Paul Tay, Lawrence Kirkpatrick and Tom McCay, but the race is expected to come down to Bartlett and Bynum, whose families have long histories in Oklahoma politics.

The Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police has yet to endorse a candidate for mayor.