By Kristen Miller
TULSA, OK - Clay Clark, a 1999 Dassel-Cokato graduate, is running for mayor of Tulsa, OK this fall, and accredits his former teachers, Todd Smith and David Urness, for sparking his interest in politics.
Clark liked the way Smith taught social studies by making it practical and applicable, showing how the subject directly affected the students.
Urness taught Clark a lot about government and the constitution the country was founded on, Clark said.
Seeing how today’s government both local and federal is run, Clark considers it unconstitutional.
By becoming mayor of Tulsa, he hopes to get the city back on track with the constitutional beliefs, regardless of political party.
Being a small business owner, having owned a disc jockey service, Clark believes he can do a better job at managing his money than the government can.
“Tulsa is absolutely a great place to do business, despite local politicians who have never run a business, but [pass] legislation that makes it harder to run a business,” Clark said.
If he is elected mayor in November, Clark will work to get government out of the way when it comes to running a small business, he said.
He wants to make bureaucracy more efficient and reduce taxes as much as possible, Clark said.
According to the Small Business Administration, nine out of 10 jobs are in small business, Clark said, who was also named Entrepreneur of the Year by the US Small Business Administration.
“It makes sense to have someone in office who understands how the small business engine of the economy works,” Clark said.
Since he sold his disc jockey business, Clark has been working with Make Your Life Epic, as a motivational speaker.
Through his speaking, Clark teaches others how to start businesses and how they can achieve their goals by using the type of business to get them there, he explained.
He is also involved in a real estate investment fund.
Clark recently took a trip to Washington, D.C. to accept the Blue Ribbon of Quality award from the US Chamber of Commerce, where he met his elected officials, both local and federal.
What he found was that some of the officials he voted for campaigned on conservative ideals, but once in office, have been voting more liberal.
At that point he thought, “maybe I should get involved.”
Clark has always believed that one shouldn’t complain unless they have a solution.
By running for mayor, Clark can be the solution he wants to see in government, he said.
Polls show Clark is in second, behind an individual whom he shares similar views with.
If primaries go well Tuesday, Sept. 8, Clark will be running for mayor in the general election in November.
Four other candidates have also just announced they are running.
“We have to push hard to get in the lead before primaries,” Clark said.
Clark is son of Thom and Mary Clark of Tulsa, also formerly of Cokato.
In August, Clark will be coming back to DC for his 10-year class reunion.
To learn more about Clark and his mayoral campaign, visit visionwithoutataxincrease.com.