Tallahassee Mayor: Dailey Challenged by Dozier, Two Other Candidates

Tallahassee Mayor: Dailey Challenged by Dozier, Two Other Candidates

Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey is being challenged by three candidates – Leon County Commissioner Kristin Dozier, Whitfield Leland, and Michael Ibrahim.

Mayor Dailey was elected to his current position in 2018 and previously served on the Leon County Commission.

Provided below is a table giving the positions of all the candidates on six specific issues.

The following narrative focuses on analyzing the positions of the leading candidates.

FSU, FAMU Stadium Votes

The recent votes to award Blueprint economic funds to FAMU ($10 million) and FSU ($20 million) to upgrade their football stadiums has become a major political issue in the race for Tallahassee mayor.

Leon County Commissioner Kristin Dozier voted against the funding for both FAMU and FSU, while Mayor Dailey supported the award to both schools.

In support of his vote, Mayor Dailey noted that college sports is the number one economic driver of tourism in Tallahassee and that “this is the right move to support the universities.” He noted that economic analysis related to the funding indicated that the investment would provide positive returns for the community.

Ahead of declaring her candidacy, Dozier called the FSU vote “a pivotal moment for our community.”

Dozier alleged the funding wiped out the economic dollars that could be used for future projects and said “this was the most anti-business, anti-jobs, anti-growth decision Leon County and Tallahassee has ever made.”

However, Dozier is taking the issue beyond a disagreement over economic development priorities and turning it into a political issue, like many other candidates. On the campaign trail she refers to the vote as the “shameful Doak deal.” The “deal” was supported by a majority of elected officials.

Tallahassee City Manager

The fate of current Tallahassee City Manager Reese Goad has been an issue for some elected officials since the city commission voted 4-1 to hire Goad just ahead of the local elections in September, 2018.

At the time of his appointment, Goad had been with the city for 18 years and was serving as the deputy city manager over Electric and Underground Utilities, Solid Waste, Tallahassee International Airport and StarMetro.
Mayor John Dailey publicly supported Goad after Commissioner Jeremy Matlow authored a critical performance review of Goad in 2019.

Dailey, in a press conference, said he “strongly supports our city manager.”

Dozier, when questioned about her position on the issue said, “we do need a new city manager” and noted we need fresh eyes on how we structure city government. She also said she would support a competitive selection process.

The other candidates have stated they would vote to replace the city manager. This is also a position shared by current city commissioners Jeremy Matlow and Jack Porter.

It takes three votes to replace a city commission appointed official.
While there may be an argument for replacing the city manager, what has not taken place during the campaign is a discussion about the possible difficulty in finding a replacement.

If the city manager is terminated with a 3-2 vote, would the vacant position be desirable to highly qualified candidates who are employed in a stable position?

Blueprint Projects

Both Dailey and Dozier have recently voted to support major Blueprint projects. These projects include the Amazon project, the expansion of the Urban Services Area to facilitate residential development and the Northeast Gateway.


There have been a lot of discussion during the campaign about civility during local government meetings. Mayor Dailey has indicated that the state of politics following the COVID pandemic plays a role in the current tone displayed during meeting. Dailey added, we can all do better.

Dailey also addressed the recent reports about inappropriate text messages from people who have highlighted the civility issue by saying “you can’t say one thing publicly and do something different privately.”

On this issue, Dozier has stated that some officials are using rules of order to silence those who disagree with the majority and said that the approach impacts compromise on important policy issues.

Both Dozier and Dailey were in agreement that the recent questioning by City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow of Blueprint employee Ben Pingree went too far.

Dozier said, “I did not appreciate the line of questioning by Commissioner Matlow …. it went a bit too far.”

Financial Support

There has been a lot of campaign chatter about the use of “dark money” and PAC’s in the mayoral campaign. Without litigating the merits of these arguments, it is clear that groups outside of traditional candidate campaigns are involved in this race.

Commissioner Dozier has been aided by the “Saving Our City” PAC that was started in July, 2022 and is based in Jacksonville. The PAC is partially funded by Bob Lotane ($5,000) and Ann Vandermeer ($2,500). Lotane and Jeff Vandermeer are the founders the Our Tallahassee political blog which has been described as a “fierce advocate for progressive candidates – specifically those politically aligned with Tallahassee Commissioners Jack Porter and Jeremy Matlow..”

Mayor John Dailey’s campaign is being aided by two PAC’s: Grow Tallahassee and Progress Matters.

The Grow Tallahassee PAC – which started in August, 2020 and is based in Tallahassee – is operated by a group of individuals that “support the election of candidates who recognize the importance of growth and economic vitality, as well as the business community..”

The donors and supporters of this PAC are all identified on campaign reports filed with the Florida’s Division of Elections and include local business owners, developers, and high level FSU officials. The latest report indicates the PAC has raised approximately $115,000.

The Progressive Matters PAC has raised approximately $120,000 with the largest donation ($37,500) coming from the Florida Police Benevolent Association.

Also, the 4TLH organization -started during this campaign cycle by Bryan Desloge and Lee Hinkle – is supporting a number of local candidates, including Dailey. Their donors are not required to be identified.


John Dailey is endorsed by Big Bend Police Benevolent Association, Grow Tallahassee, Equality Florida and the Board of Realtors.

Kristin Dozier is endorsed by Tallahassee Professional Firefighter’s Union, the Climate Cabinet PAC, Big Bend Chapter of the AFL-CIO, and Our Tallahassee publishers.

32 Responses to "Tallahassee Mayor: Dailey Challenged by Dozier, Two Other Candidates"

  1. @ NE Moderate …. Don’t forget that Rocky Hanna ALSO wants to raise our Property Taxes to give Teachers a Pay Raise.

  2. @ NE Moderate …. Don’t for that Rocky Hanna ALSO wants to raise our Property Taxes to give Teachers a Pay Raise.

  3. John Dailey’s CSC property tax hike will kill him with conservative voters in the general. Good riddance a tax and spend Chambercrat!

  4. @ David… Agree. Results of the Mayoral race was a given. Interesting enough, the first and only outreach I heard from Rivest was some back-to-back radio commercials while I was on a break shortly before we closed our Precinct. That doesn’t mean those were the only ones he ran (I work for a living), just the only ones I heard.

    I wonder how much money Bellamy left in his coffers. If you have the time, hit the SOE website and look closely at the Precinct-by-Precinct numbers, that race and others were closer than the results indicate. A pathetic turnout to be sure. Once again – and sadly – apathy ruled the day in this Election.

  5. I knew these two would move on to November. I am Shocked about County District 5, I thought for sure it would have been Rivest and Revell to move forward.

  6. Deflection… another classic Marxist trait.

    Person 1: “It’s 8 o’clock in the morning”

    Marxist: “Wrong… Publix was out of toilet paper”

    … a strange lot to be sure

  7. TR has written a few articles revealing the fact that a progressive California group has contributed large sums of money to back candidates such as Jeremy Matlow and Adner Marcelin.

    There have been no such articles revealing dark money from California or money from the “sketchy” developer (that Hope keeps talking about) backing David Bellamy or Dianne Williams-Cox.

    Receiving money from local businesses and individuals (bundled or not) is better than receiving money from progressive Californians.

  8. Whatever your politics… the health, safety, and welfare of Our community, Our families, OUR children, and OUR Freedoms and Liberties should help guide your decision.

    Vote to block the Marxists attempts to take control of OUR fair City via OUR City Government…. our YOUR health, safety, welfare, community, children, and Freedoms and Liberties will quickly fall victim to the Communist Elites destructive agenda.

  9. Clean up our water that sketchy developers and corrupt elected officials have let go by the wayside wreaking havoc to our public health and safety..

    VOTE Dozier!! to restore our clean water and public health.

  10. You’ll note that although Dozier stood against both the FAMU and FSU handouts (a stance I share with her)… she only publicly laments the FSU vote. Can you say race-based pandering?

    And yet, not one candidate who opposes the BP handouts has offered a plan or a solution or a change in BP Governance to make certain it doesn’t happen again… let that sink in a bit.

  11. Pure Alinsky Projection…. “Oh! What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Endeavor To Deceive”

    I rest easy knowing that my family’s 6 votes cancel out at least 6 votes for the attempted Marxist takeover by the Trio of Tyranny. We’ve done our part… it’s up to the rest to save our fair City and City Government… or live with the disastrous results of apathy.

  12. …And Edward stoops to a new low… when you think he couldn’t go any lower he goes into race baiting. Desperate Edward. Sad.

  13. NO to Dozier!

    Thank you for exposing your brazen hypocrisy and race-based pandering by declaring that some people are more equal/worthy than others.

  14. @ David… I concur. Like Roe-v-Wade, Citizens United was a bad ruling and should be revisited and overturned. One of the primary reasons I supported your run was because you were self-funded and not indebted to any special interest other than those citizens and taxpayers you sought to serve.

    I would even go so far as to consider caps on campaign financing, limiting the amount of direct and in-kind donations a candidate’s campaign coffer can accept. For example… $50k for City races, $75k for County, $100k for state level races, and $200k for federal seats. Anyone caught violating the limits would automatically be disqualified. No more consultant-written blather, less junk mailers (you know, save a tree and all), no more PAC money. More face-to-face, more public forums, more debates, et al…

  15. As far as “Financial Support” goes, I say, No “PAC or Bundle” Money, No “Corporate, Business” Money and drop the Maximum Donation to $500. The Name on the Check is the Name on Record, that way a Company or Individual can’t write a bunch of Checks for different People.

  16. Dozier’s first day in office will automatically give citizens respite from being under the thumb of an Iranian developer who gets sketchy projects through the system that fail from environmental, permitting, stormwater and more. In other words doing harm to the public at large.

    The extensive bundled contributions buys this developer free rein and no oversight from City Hall which has devastating consequences to taxpayers.

    The sketchy developer was also not only for but pushed this agenda for the $27 million dollar giveaway. This long-standing arm of corruption will dissipate and disappear on day one and citizens will actually be safe from this oppressive special interest.

    YES, YES, YES to Dozier!!!

  17. A yes for Dozier – based on her FSU handout stance – is a yes to inequitable application of the law and governance. Again, to be against the FSU handout and not the FAMU and TCC handouts is brazen hypocrisy.

  18. Yes to Dozier!

    * The $27 million giveaway was a true test of leadership and Dozier did the right thing.

    Not only did she do the right thing she put up a good fight and exposed 12 other people who failed in leadership.

  19. Dozier voted no on giving FSU and FAMU millions of dollars in Leon County tax dollars. Dailey voted yes and then the Alumni association found tens of millions more for their luxury amenities.

    I am going to hold my nose and vote for Kristin. Then I’ll probably move…

  20. All the commenters here have made good points.

    Hmm, on the one hand, John Dailey is endorsed by Equality Florida. On the other hand, Kristin Dozier is endorsed by the Climate Cabinet PAC and Our Tallahassee publishers. Good grief – some choice. What’s a voter to do?

  21. Dozier has still not let it be known what was on the County Commission Table that would benefit J.T. Burnette when he sold her the house at 510 Terrace St. at 2/3 market value which she sold two years later at full market value. She got paid for something to do Burnette’s bidding.

  22. The choices across the board in every seat up for election reminds me of something my grandfather once told me when we were trying to cross a creek turned river. “Do we go up steam grandpa, or down that way?”

    His answer? “§¬¡t in one hand, shinola in the other.”

    Why are we always choosing between the devil’s right hand or the devil themself?

  23. @ Snidely… a fair point to be sure. I was waffling on a vote for Dozier, but the “Climate” cabal endorsement gave me comfort with my pick. My guess is that either one will slip up in a big way within two-years of the upcoming term. Hopefully then, someone we can truly get behind will step up. Right now, for me and mine, it’s all about blocking the 3-2 vote for Marxist policies.

    To be clear, I don’t profess to be absolutely right in my thinking or choices. But I’ve been intimately involved in this game (on both sides of the aisle) for many years, and I’m going with my gut on this one. If I’m correct, it’s all good… if I’m not, I’ll own it and learn from it… something many rarely do by the way.

    We’ll see.

  24. @ Concerned Citizen… I share your concerns. My motive in voting this cycle was to block to “FAAAR leftists” from gaining control of our City Government, our City, and subsequently… We The People. Live to fight another day and work toward better options next time I say. But the damage these extremist Marxists will do if they gain control, may be irreparable.

    “Kristin Dozier is endorsed by… the Climate Cabinet PAC…” is all I needed to see to confirm that my motive is correct.

    @ Pat A… dead-nuts-on. Unions endorse the candidate that promises to bend a knee to the Union leaders demands. They rarely – if ever – poll those they profess to represent. I remember when they all screamed “build schools, not prisons”… but left out the part where they would turn our schools into Marxist Indoctrination Systems. Good post.

  25. Conservatives for Dozier:
    As I stated before they will all be corrupt to one degree or another. There is no conservative choice for us on the ballot.
    The reason conservatives should vote Dozier is she out of the other three is less intelegent and less crafty therefor she is the most likley out of the four to get caught up in another botched up play for pay scheme which is the best us conservatives can hope for as a result of the election of The Honorable Mayor of Tallahassee.
    She has a history of upgrading her residental address in prior pay to play schemes with J T Burnett (the Terrace Street dirty deal) and in deals with other developers.
    So to sum it up:
    There is no conservative choice. The very best we conservatives can expect out of this election is the entertainment value of watching the leftist Mayor get busted dirty…and….wait for it…here comes the good part…America’s Govorner Desantis will appoint a conservative in Dozier’s place to finish out her term.
    Conservatives For Dozier – Its the only sane and logical choice.

  26. As a once big time Union Representative of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, let assure you that Unions exclusively act and say only what best benefits them. If a candidate has a Union’s endorsement, it means the Union expects something very beneficial in return. When a Union brings a “safety concern” to the public’s attention, it really means the Union will benefit from addressing the problem. With that said, I love Cops, Fire Fighters, EMTs, and Veterans. And all the Doctors and Nurses that keep me healthy.

    And on the subject of cops, what happened to the good old days when criminals slipped/fell on their way to jail? What our community needs is some good old fasion street justice. For example, you pick a fight with a cop expect to end up getting a real good beating. Look at that that drunk kid last fall who, after committing a hit and run, resisted arrest. The cop got suspended. WTF! Criminals today are not afraid of the cops because someone like Ben Bubba Crump will make a big stink out of their arrest. By the time some youth commits his/her first crime, they are so far past saving that public defenders are wasting their time and the taxpayer’s money defending them. In fact, stop trying to save the un-save able.

    I’m voting for the candidate that promises to build a Giant Super Jail that serves Leon County and all the surrounding counties and promises to fill it up with inmates.

    Like Portland, San Fransisco and Los Angeles, Tallahassee Liberals will not appreciate the damage they have caused until crime and homelessness is way out of control. And we are headed that way.

    Y’all have a nice day. I’m cooking up some serious “yard bird” for lunch.

  27. Man, what a lack of options for anyone voting that is even on the slightest of the right side of middle. Tallahasse has the options of FAAAAR leftists or to the left Democrats. This lack of balance will eventually not end well.

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