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.
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 www.elainebryanttlh.com and www.jackfortallahassee.com.