All the TV commercials. mailers and social media posts have been deployed and election day awaits.
Listed below are three issues that separate the two mayoral candidates, Mayor John Dailey and former Leon County Commissioner Kristin Dozier.
Both Dailey and Dozier are registered Democrats, as are all members of the city commission. However, over the last two years a split has developed on the city commission between progressive Democrats (Matlow, Porter) and traditional liberal Democrats (Dailey, Richardson, and Williams-Cox).
During this election cycle, national progressive groups that are critical of capitalism, support socialism, and support the defund the police movement have decided to endorse Kristin Dozier.
For her part, Dozier has embraced the endorsements and stated that she does not agree with every position of every group that endorses her campaign.
In contrast, Dailey has been endorsed by the Big Bend Chapter of the Florida PBA and is viewed as the favorite of the Tallahassee business community. Dailey does have the endorsement of Equality Florida – a far left group.
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.
TR Coverage of Tallahassee Mayor Race
Mayor John Dailey has 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 before the primary 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.
However, recently, Dozier has qualified her position on the city manager. Last week she told the Tallahassee Democrat she wouldn’t support “swift action” to find a new city manager or police chief. She said City Manager Reese Goad “has served this community well.”
FSU, FAMU Stadium Votes
The votes to award Blueprint economic funds to FAMU ($10 million) and FSU ($20 million) to upgrade their football stadiums has been characterized as a major political issue by many. The votes were an issue in the primary and Dozier has continued highlight the issue in the general election.
Commissioner 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 noted 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.”