Former Broken Arrow mayor Mike Lester to run for council seat


By John Dobberstein, Editor

Former Broken Arrow city councilor and mayor Mike Lester said Friday he plans to run for the Ward 3 council seat that he lost in 2019.

Lester, a managing broker for Samson Commercial Real Estate Services, was elected to the Broken Arrow City Council in April 2007. He served as mayor from 2009 to 2012.

“Whatever I did public-service wise, I never did anything with the intent of being a public servant, I did it because I enjoy the community I grew up in and helping see it grow,” Lester told the Sentinel. “My main purpose is to continue to see opportunities created for the citizens of Broken Arrow.”

Lester said his priorities for Broken Arrow are:

  • Public safety: Lester said the police and fire departments need the personnel and equipment to perform their duty “to highest degree and to benefit of citizens. I understand there is always disagreement between any entity that needs things but as a city councilor you have to weigh where the funds are and the best use of money to benefit the city of Broken Arrow.”
  • Infrastructure: “I think as we continue to grow as a community we need to make sure our infrastructure, and water and sewer lines are in the best possible condition. Our source of water and treatment of the water issue is an issue.”
  • Economic growth: “Basically Oklahoma lives and dies on the sales tax, and when you have a downtown and the sales tax is affected it requires hard decisions on the funding that you do have and how utilize that. When we were doing the Rose District we got the most pushback from people who I grew up with, who didn’t want it changed. And I said ‘We either change it or it dies.’ Every decision make will make someone unhappy. If you worry about making people unhappy you can’t do your job.”

Lester stepped down from his mayoral duties in 2012, stating it was in the best interest of the city after allegations he was not forthcoming about his knowledge of a proposed casino in Broken Arrow.

Lester was defeated by current City Councilor Christi Gillespie in 2019, but he said that’s not what is motivating him to run again.

“I’m not running against, I’m running for. Before you ask me what I’m going to do, ask me what I’ve done,” he said, pointing to his experience with the Union Public Schools, Chamber of Commerce, Broken Arrow Civitans and other groups.

“I’ve done a lot of things not in preparing to run for city council but that shore up my ability to be an effective city councilor.”

Gillespie is seeking re-election and will kick off her campaign later this month. The campaign filing deadline for candidates is Feb. 8.

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