Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer says he’s staying neutral in Florida Governor’s Race

Earlier today, Florida Governor Rick Scott was in town promoting his “Jobs for the Next Generation” plan. A S.T.E.M program that centered around legislative goals and educational initiatives to create opportunities for the jobs of tomorrow (that story HERE).

While it was a strong outing for the Governor, it was not what people were talking about after the event ended. Rather, it was buzz surrounding Orlando’s elected leader, that was getting all of the attention.

Mayor Buddy Dyer told WOFL FOX 35, that he was staying neutral in the Florida Governor’s race.

He’s never been much of a participant in partisan politics. But, it was the fact that Dyer stated any position whatsoever, in the upcoming political war between Scott and his predecessor, Republican turned Democrat Charlie Crist, that spoke volumes. Dyer, a moderate Democrat staying “neutral” in this race, could be interpreted as a mild endorsement for the Republican incumbent, rather than his fellow Democrat that defeated him in the Attorney General race in 2002, when still with the GOP.

It will have local Democrats, who believe Dyer doesn’t do enough already, to help the party, shaking their heads. And it will have the State Party making phone calls, trying to get Dyer to “clarify” his position.

There is plenty of history around this. Besides losing the AG bid to Crist in 2002, Dyer himself declined running for Governor this year. It turned out to be the smart play. The early polling wasn’t favorable, and the party has lined up behind the former GOP Governor.

What was surprising was the praise the Mayor gave Scott behind the microphone today, saying he’s created jobs in the area. It was just over two years ago, that Dyer said this..

We’ve got a governor who has done more harm to the state of Florida in the last nine months than any single man in the history of the state of Florida,”(source HERE).

Wow.

Now, that line was delivered during President Barack Obama‘s reelection campaign. The President is the only guy, Dyer goes dark blue for. Despite, Charlie Crist’s own love for the President, Dyer says he’s staying neutral.

This morning, I was looking the Governor straight in the eyes when asked about Dyer’s neutrality, and I saw a suppressed smile. He said “I’ve worked with Mayor Dyer a hundred times, he knows families are like my families growing up, they struggle for work” he adds “I know the Mayor agrees with me. We need more jobs. Better jobs. A better education system”.

Now, Dyer standard operating procedure says the Mayor doesn’t go near this subject again. There is no political capital here, and while this can be written off as going on with his duties as the leader of the City Beautiful, a 2nd incident will hurt the Crist campaign, and hurt Dyer with the local party. Two Democrats ran against the Mayor in 2012 and while they were speedbumps, he could be facing even more opposition should he run for reelection again.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer introducing Governor Scott

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer introducing Governor Scott

Scott talks “Jobs for the Next Generation” during Orlando Science Center Visit

Florida Governor Rick Scott, was in Orlando this morning, promoting his “Jobs for the Next Generation” program, which features a heavy emphasis on S.T.E.M careers moving into the future.

Surrounded by supporters in the Orlando Science center, the Governor had this to said

“This is my 5th policy announcement and it’s Jobs for the Next Generation. If you stop and think about your family for a second, you think I want them to have the opportunity to have any job possible. Florida should be the future for jobs. We should every opportunity for great jobs in this state.” He adds “I got to live the American dream because I was able to get a good education to build businesses”

When talking about S.T.E.M, Scott pointed to education.. “We have excellent S.T.E.M teachers. I’m sure a lot of them come here during the Summer. I want to set up paid residency programs with companies like Lockheed Martin and Electronic Arts to build on what they know and inspire students for the jobs of the future” The Governor also laid out some legislative goals for the next session including 30 million dollars for Workforce training specializing in S.T.E.M occupations and supplementing incentives for S.T.E.M degrees.

Fellow lawmakers on hand included State Representative Bryan Nelson, Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke, and Orange Property Appraiser Rick Singh. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was on hand, and raised some eyebrows by introducing and praising the Republican Governor, on job creation in the City Beautiful. Scott is on a collision course with his predecessor, Charlie Crist who was with the GOP before switching parties and is now running against Scott as a Democrat for his old job.

And Governor Scott pulled no punches when talking about his future opponent, when addressing the media after the event. When asked about meeting with Scientist about Climate Change, he unloaded on Crist “Now, I hope these same scientists will meet with Charlie Crist and ask why he failed us. Why he said he was going to do all of these projects and didn’t. He didn’t put money into the springs. He didn’t do what he said he was going to do for the everglades. He didn’t put any money into these projects. I hope when they meet with Charlie Crist, they’ll ask him why he failed us”.

This is the most recent trip through Orlando, in previous weeks he’s held pressers in the city regarding reduced vehicle registration fees, no college tuition hikes, and low crime rates.

Below are some photos from the event….

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer introducing Governor Scott

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer introducing Governor Scott

Governor Rick Scott addressing supporters and the media

Governor Rick Scott addressing supporters and the media

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Smith Horiz

Seefeldt releases TV Ad in Florida House 31

Businesswoman Terri Seefeldt will began running this television ad, in her bid to become the next State Representative from Florida House 31. The commercial hits all of talking points to appeal to the Conservative district, and is the latest addition to her campaign which has featured other mass communication methods such as radio ads, and billboards.

Take a look below…

Seefeldt is currently in a 5-way all Republican field to replaced termed out incumbent Bryan Nelson (who’s endorsed Seefeldt) in the district that consists of parts of Orange and Lake Counties. Others include Health Clinic Executive Randy Glisson, Youth Development Leader Jennifer Sullivan, Former Teacher Union Rep B. Grassel, and Fraud Investigator Joseph Stephens.

It’s been a busy start to the week for Seefeldt she was endorsed by the local Hoteliers PAC yesterday (Story HERE).

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Tuesday Morning Political Headlines: Expanding Sunrail to Nights and Weekends

Happy Tuesday! Here we go!

Are you a Sunrail fan? Do you wish it would run on nights after Magic games? Or weekends for big downtown events? You’re not alone. Over 1700 other Sunrail fans have signed a petition to expand service on the commuter train.

Local officials are talking but aren’t optimistic. The reason? Money. It’s basically going to come down to whether we’re willing to pay for that services or not. It’s bound to be an ongoing discussion for weeks to come.

And remember those closures on Orange Ave? Well, some commuters were caught off guard by those closures caused by construction on the Downtown Performing Arts Center and they’re ticked.

These stories lead your Tuesday Morning Political Headlines. Have a productive day!

WESH 2: SunRail riders demand expansion of service to nights, weekends

WOFL FOX 35: Local leaders discuss expanding SunRail service

FOX 35 News Orlando

Orlando Sentinel: SunRail is considering expanding hours, days

CF News 13: Downtown Orlando detours already causing headaches for drivers

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Residents fed up with bats at Orange County apartment complex


WKMG Local 6
: Hillary Clinton would consider backing bid to limit money in politics

Whittington announces endorsements from former Orlando, Orange County Mayors

Metroplan Director and Candidate for Orange County Commission District 6 Candidate Virginia Whittington announced two endorsements from former leaders of the community. Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood and Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin.

In a release sent out by her campaign, Chapin said the following…

“I’ve known Virginia Whittington for many years and think she will be a truly outstanding county commissioner. Her experience and expertise in transportation will be of great value, and her outstanding character will ensure her commitment to ethical government and public interest,”

Hood, who was current Mayor Buddy Dyer‘s predecessor added these remarks..

“I am pleased to endorse Virginia Whittington for Orange County Commission, District 6. She has the knowledge, integrity and sincere commitment to represent all citizens of our county in an exceptional way,”

Whittington was grateful for their support in her bid to replace termed out incumbent Tiffany Moore-Russell. Here is what she had to say…

“I don’t think either of these women were aware of the impact that made on my life,” she adds “During their tenures they were both incredible role models for not only me, but I’m sure other women aspiring to public office. They both served with high levels of integrity and grace. It’s certainly humbling to have their endorsements of approval on my ability to lead District 6 and represent Orange County moving forward. I am grateful for their support.”

The endorsements from these two municipal leaders continue a streak of sorts from Whittington. Last month, she was co-endorsed by Businessforce, the political arm of the Orlando Chamber of Commerce, as well as nods from Mayors Gary Bruhn from Windermere, Howard Schieferdecker from Maitland, and Ray Bagshaw from Edgewood (that story HERE).

Whittington is in a crowded field that includes Businessman Derrick Wallace, Attorney and Commission Aide Roberta Walton, former Commissioner Homer Hartage, Businesswoman Victoria Siplin, and Consultant Lawanna Gelzer.

Whittington Chapin

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