Community Leaders Choose Sides in Pivotal City Race

Community Leaders Choose Sides in Pivotal City Race

Based on the sheer volume of endorsements by local community leaders, the bid for City Commission Seat 1 is quickly becoming the race to watch. The campaign pits current City Commissioner Elaine Bryant against three challengers.

However, a closer look at social media presence, donations, and endorsements reveals that race is shaping up to be between two candidates: Bryant and Jacqueline (Jack) Porter.

The fact that Mayor John Dailey and City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow – who will have to work with the eventual winner – have decided to weigh-in, raises the profile of the race.

Tallahassee Reports has published profiles for each of the candidates in the race and it is becoming clear that Bryant is the establishment candidate and Porter is carrying the outsider banner.

The Endorsements

While the impact of endorsements on elections is clearly up for the debate, the sudden rash of endorsements by elected officials, business leaders, and community advocates in this race sheds light on what this race means to many influential people in Tallahassee.

A review of their websites shows that the two candidates list a total of approximately 55 personal endorsements.

A number of current elected officials, which are traditionally reluctant to get involved with other elections, have chosen sides. Mayor Dailey and Superintendent Rocky Hanna have endorsed Bryant, while Commissioner Matlow, Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor and Florida State Representative Anna Eskamani have sided with Porter.

In addition to elected officials, a number of former elected and high level government officials have endorsed. Bryant has the support of former Florida State Representative Alan Williams and former Tallahassee City Manager Anita Favors. Porter is endorsed by for Tallahassee Mayor and City Commissioner Debbie Lightsey and former Leon County Commissioners Cliff Thaell and Bob Rackleff.

Others choosing to endorse include Steve Evans, a former IBM Executive and member of the Sales Tax Committee and Tallahassee Memorial CEO Mark O’Bryant who are behind Bryant.

Steve Evans wrote, “As someone who’s had the honor of knowing and working with Elaine on board’s for many years, I am so proud of her and her “selfless” commitment to the City of Tallahassee & the City Commission. Elaine brings integrity, balance, fairness and outstanding judgement to the many difficult issues we’re facing during these changing and challenging times. She’s tough, disciplined and most importantly “fair minded”.”

Famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump and Rev. R.B. Holmes of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church are also supporting Bryant.

Porter has the support of a number of community activists. These include Delaitre Hollinger, Lawton “Bud” Chiles, Andy Janecek and Bob Lotane.

In support of Porter, Lotane wrote “Once in a while a candidate comes along – who is so passionate, so knowledgeable on the issues and with such a solid educational background – that deciding who to vote for is really no choice at all. Jack Porter is not a politician; she is the real deal. She doesn’t care about money, she has no ego issues, she is honest and she only cares about Tallahassee.”

All endorsements can be viewed at and

26 Responses to "Community Leaders Choose Sides in Pivotal City Race"

  1. The fact that Drew Jones, who runs Bryant’s campaign also represents the Ghazvini (Welaunee) family as a private client, and some people would mislead you into believing that doesn’t affect Bryant’s voting for that development, literally makes me sick to my stomach.

    Jacqueline “Jack” Porter’s campaign is funded almost entirely by small donations from regular folks. While Ms. Bryant’s war chest is filled by cronies in construction, engineering companies, law firms and attorneys, developers, and property management firms.
    In fact, 25 donations came from the upscale housing developments owned by Arbor Properties, Inc. None of these properties are affordable housing, which Tallahassee desperately needs. Worse, though, is that all these Arbor properties are presided over by William Gordon Thames. He is the same businessman tied to the FBI’s indictment of, investigation into, and evidence against former commissioner Scott Maddox. According to the indictment, Maddox profited from nearly $140,000 from Arbor Properties and its affiliates from late 2012 to early 2017.

    Ms. Bryant’s campaign finance reports show on 12/06/19 that she paid $4,414 to VancoreJones Communications Llc for their political services.

    Is it coincidence that this is the same firm that has made more than $856,380 off contracts with the city, county and the joint Blueprint agency, which is funded through sales-tax dollars? VancoreJones is well known in the wealthiest circles in town as having a long list of big wig political, government and private-sector clients.

    Is it coincidence VancoreJones is heavily linked to the Ghazvini family, that is behind the massive Canopy development that was awarded tax payer money (which should have been used for desperately needed infrastructure and affordable housing), and who we now see has also donated well to Bryant’s campaign?

    I don’t believe in coincidences like these…I hope that reasonable voters fed up with corruption and cronyism might think twice about voting for Ms. Bryant. We do not need someone who was handed the commission seat by the same old cronies, now pays big campaign money to the same old crony movers and shakers, and enjoys money from some of the same old crony entities as the indicted Scott Maddox did.

    In fact, it all stinks to high heaven and doesn’t reflect the needs and best interests of all us little people.

    It’s time for a fresh and clean slate like Jack Porter will bring to the table. As will Geraldine H Seay, who’s running for Tallahassee City Commission Seat 2.

  2. To me, the worst endorsements EB has received are from the police and firefighter unions. Taking their endorsements right now signals her interests put money before public safety. Also, seeing Ben Crump endorse her after taking those endorsements has really taken some winds of his sails, from my perspective.

    I read this at FL Pol: “Altogether, Elaine Bryant’s donor base – as of now – consists of 6 law firms, 14 management consultant companies (one of which is owned and operated by the Mayor – who also gave the maximum allowable), 20 real estate/property management companies, and 21 construction services companies.”

    I saw one EB “supporter” (i.e. paid intern somewhere) on social media call into question Jack’s sexuality and honesty because of her name. Like, that’s straight up cyber-bullying, and I don’t want to be associated with that kind of person.

    Based on what I’ve observed, many of Jack’s supporters are enthusiastically kind which is a really, really nice change of pace.

  3. I am for Porter. The only thing I have seen Bryant do on the Commission is Vote WITH the Majority which is why I am sure that’s why Daily is endorsing her.

  4. Porter is an attractive candidate, and I don’t mean by virtue of her looks. But as for looks… keep the hair pulled back. It portends a serious, professional, and a “we have work to do” candidate. That said; she’s clearly bright, energetic, informed, approachable, and most importantly; earnest and real in her presentation. I would surmise that she likely has the edge with certain voting blocks.

    However, she’ll need the Republican and conservative-leaning independents and NPAs to feel the desire to engage in this race, and to put her over the top. Otherwise, she’ll lose by way of the undervote. A tacit approach to important issues is not a wise position. To say that one is “wary” and will take a “wait and see” approach… is tantamount to supporting the proposal, knowing full well that if passed, it will never be undone by the tax-n-spend majority.

    The CSC may be well-intentioned, but as presented, it is a bad proposal and idea. To date, no empirical,data has been presented that supports the need for the tax. Neither have any substantive ideas, plans, projects, success benchmarks, or measures of management and spending accountability been presented. In our current economic environment, well-intentioned policy ideas must take a backseat to actions of sound fiscal stewardship.

    Porter would be wise to come out against the proposal. She will not lose votes over that position, but will perhaps gain the votes she needs to win this… and I just gave her the acceptable, appropriate, and logical talking points… for free 😉

    1. I’m listening closely. Appreciate this input and this view, especially in the context of downward budget projections, has moved the needle in my thinking on the proposal. Thank you, Edward. Reach out anytime.


      1. YES, the CSC has NO Accountability at all. You need to talk to Bryan Desloge on this topic, he wrote an article telling exactly how bad it is. Mary Ann Lindley was also against it. Also many Florida Counties that have already implemented the CSC highly regretted it soon after. Please do your homework on this and just say NO.

  5. Leftist? Marxist? Commie? Commy? Used to know what they meant. Not in today’s language. They all sound like blanket excuses to remain divided and prejudiced in ways deeper than mere race, and denying any personal accountability for devisive propaganda. The discourse and mudslinging clarifies very little, if anything. Like most all elections the choice always comes down to the lesser of two evils. Not always the candidates; more often for whom they may or may not be on puppet strings.

  6. What mail in ballot “scheme”?

    Voting, legally, by mail?

    How dare she want people to vote by mail during a pandemic.

  7. Jack has been wary of the CSC, saying she’s against it if it turns out to be another patronage scheme that funnels tax money to connected organizations like Blueprint has turned out to be. On the other hand, there is a great need. I would say her stance is reasonable. At the end of the day, she’s not tied in with politics as usual and that’s a big step up.

    And mail ballots are happening, so she just wants to make sure the other side doesn’t win them all.

  8. After they appointed a marxist into the vacated seat (her opponent), Jack looks like somebody we can trust who will be a truth teller against the backroom dealings that have ruined our city. she actually looks like she can unite the republicans and sane democrats here.

    1. Looks are deceiving.
      Especially here.
      JP is really into the mail-in ballot scheme, and won’t give a thumbs down to the CSC, preferring to let the voters decide.
      Wonder what she thinks of the city spending $9K + labor costs on the street graffiti homage to the Burn & Loot Movement? If I were her, I would have called a presser as soon as the paint dried at the Intersection of Hate and blasted the City Kommissars.

  9. Madame Jack Porter will re energized that City Commission seat #1! Let’s make it a landslide Victory! Currently occupied by lifeless dead weight whose chummy, clubby relationships with light weight whiners and leftist supporters temporarily paved a pot holes riddled illusion of a victory for a second full term.

  10. I saw this race boiling down to these two. Regardless of the endorsements, I’d suspect that baring an impassable unforced error, the edge belongs to Porter at this point.

    Allowing the use of public funds and resources to paint Marxist graffiti on publicly-owned property – and thus endorsing their Marxist ideology – was a huge mistake made by the incumbents.

    I would still like to see a journalist put the question to every local candidate, and publish their responses… to wit: “Have you fully researched the origins, mission, and vision of the BLM organization? – and if so – will you state for the record whether or not your support them, and the use of public funds and resources to support the organization’s agenda?

    1. Edward, you will NEVER work for the Fake Newsocrat by asking a $64,000 question like that!
      Yeah, that is ALL I’d need to know to decide who gets my vote. It was such an egregious, indefensible, anti-American decision that these Komissars should be immediately removed from office by the governor.

      1. Agreed. One operation certainly wouldn’t hire me, and I doubt ether could afford me. 😉

        I’ve found that Tallahassee Reports definitely has the upper hand when it comes to journalist integrity though. I truly miss hard-hitting reporting. There are still a few around, but most have simply become Political Action Committees masquerading as the “media”. I fear the damage those Media PAC operations are causing this nation may be irreparable.

        But alas… I shall remain hopeful and continue to pray for change.

    2. I definitely do not support Bryant if she is supported by RB Holmes, Mayor Chuckles, Rocky Hanna, and Alan Williams who snuck Dream Defenders into the Capitol Building.

      I am concerned with how radical Porter may be. Would she support an autonomous zone like Seattle? Would she feel right at home with the situation in Portland? Is she silent on the mural?

      Once again we have very bad choices. But at least this time we get to vote for the commissioner this time instead of having the mayor and other commissioners pick the commissioner (Bryant).

  11. The upcoming local election as always will be decided by our local registered Democrats.
    Only this time its a little different.
    Local Democrats pleased with the violent and economic wrecking ball preview of how the left intends to operate going forward will continue their support of incumbents and Democrats.
    There has got to be a huge silent majority of local registered Democrats who do not approve of the far left turn we are witnessing locally and nationally.
    It’s gonna be interesting indeed to watch as the left turns up the violence and wrecking of the economey in the few short months prior to the national election while fully expecting their base’s continued support.

    1. The black voters support the black incumbents, because they’re black.
      The black incumbents support the black candidates, because they’re black.
      The white incumbents support the black candidates, because they’re black.
      The white voters support the white candidates, because they’re white.
      The white members of the city commission are currently serving their last term. No matter how much Mayor Dailey and Mr. Matlow do for the black community, the blacks will prefer to replace them with a black candidate.
      So long as the white voters don’t bother to vote, nothing will change.

  12. The only reason the Mayor is doing this is because RB Holmes has him by the balls. He would not be mayor without the support of Bethel church so he has to do whatever RB wants. What a disappointment he turned out to be.

    1. African American pastors need to get out of the politics business and get back to basics on preaching the word.

      The Democrats need to stop pandering to the black pastors and we the people need to vote for the content of the character and not the color of the skin.

      This pandering back and forth between Democratic politicians and black pastors has had dire consequences for years for Tallahassee. It is not helping the youth it is hurting them.

      This is why Dailey is failing as a leader..

  13. No choice at all – “Notebook”er insiders for Elaine, everybody else for Jack Porter!

    Relieved that this will be decided by NE voters supporting Jack in August. A great step forward at City Hall.

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