Today, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced he would not run for Florida Governor in 2014. Much like he did with his re-election campaign last year, he used his State of the City Address to springboard into the announcement using the progress he’s made with the city over the previous year
The rumors that he was considering a run started well over a year ago, before election year politics made 2014 seem like an eternity away. Throughout the year, the media observed his behavior to see if the signs were there. We watched how he interacted and campaigned with President Barack Obama in the important I4 corridor, we watched any unusual fundraising activity, when Dyer took verbal shots at current Governor Rick Scott, we tried to find a trend. There wasn’t one. Our interest returned when the Mayor of the City Beautiful, said he was still considering a run at the Democratic National Convention.
Today, he put an end to all speculation. The answer is no.
It was the right call. Buddy Dyer made the right decision passing on a run to be the next Governor of Florida. Why was it the right decision? Let’s break it down.
He was Invisible in early polling: He’s the Mayor of one of the most visited Cities on the planet, but he wasn’t registering in early polling against potential opponents in a Democratic primary. I say not registering which means his Name ID wasn’t even high enough to even make him relevant in the decision portion of the poll. He won re-election by a landslide here in Orlando but, he’s still widely unknown to casual voters across the state.
He’s Kinda Busy: Sunrail, DPAC, Citrus Bowl renovations, Creative Village, More condos downtown, and the paint hasn’t even dried on the Amway center yet. Now, he’s blessed the idea of a new soccer stadium (with weak numbers but that’s another post). These are all projects, he’s been “outfront” on and if he hits the campaign trail and leaves these behind, there’s no telling what direction they’d go.
Charlie Crist officially became a Democrat: When the former Republican Governor made it official by switching parties during the holidays, he essentially ended not only Dyer’s chances at a run, but many of the others taking a long look at challenging Rick Scott. Right now it’s Charlie and Alex Sink unless something changes.
It’s great to be the Mayor of Orlando: This is a pretty good job to have. This is a dynamic city with a lot of moving parts and a lot of room to grow. He’s been here for a decade and there are no serious political challengers on the horizon. He’s got the big city vision in his mind and a canvas with enough space to make it happen.
So, Buddy says no. I thought he would go the other way, until Crist switched parties. Now, with plenty of time until his next next re-election campaign, Dyer will continue push to make Orlando a major City that will influence the way the country moves.
Here is Mayor Dyer’s State of the City Address. The announcement comes at the 30:40 mark.