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Bynum taps former city councilor Blake Ewing for chief of staff

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Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum
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Then-Tulsa City Councilors Blake Ewing (left) and Karen Gilbert (right) with Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum in 2018.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum announced Monday his selection of former Tulsa City Councilor Blake Ewing to serve as his chief of staff.

"In our time together on the Tulsa City Council, I came to admire Blake Ewing as the conscience of what Tulsa can be - always challenging us to think bigger and aim higher,” Bynum, a Republican, said in a statement. “Blake is one of the best long-term thinkers I have ever known. He and I also share an old-fashioned notion that public service is more important than partisan politics. I am thankful Blake has agreed to join our team at the City of Tulsa as my next chief of staff.”

"I'm honored to be welcomed back to City Hall to serve in this position. I love this community and look forward to working with Mayor Bynum and his staff as we move Tulsa forward," Ewing said in a statement. "Some of my favorite memories are from my time serving at City Hall with Mayor Bynum. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do it again."

Beginning Sept. 6, Ewing will replace outgoing chief of staff Kathryn Junk, who was appointed to the role in 2020.

Ewing resigned from his role at the OKPOP Museum in order to accept the position at City Hall.

"For the past three years, Blake worked to create an experience for OKPOP that we believe will draw acclaim from around the world," OKPOP Executive Director Jeffrey Moore said in a statement. "Instead of celebrating Oklahoma artists’ fame and accolades, Blake has continually challenged us to create moments that remind us of their humanity, and the impact they’ve made because they are from Oklahoma, not despite it. Blake has been a major asset to this project, and we know he will be one for the City of Tulsa, as well."

Ewing, a Republican, represented District 4 on the council from 2011 to 2018.

His time in office was marked, at times, by controversy, as reported by The Frontier, including championing downtown policies opposed by some business owners, being sued by business partners, and slamming local media.

Ewing also proposed the naming of Reconciliation Way, the street formerly named for Ku Klux Klansman and early 20th century civic leader Tate Brady.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.