CF News 13: Orlando Mayor Candidates Trade Barbs in Debate

News 13 Analysis of Tonight’s Mayoral Debate

By Adam Longo

Mayor Buddy Dyer says he plans to serve a full four year term if he is reelected. It’s an issue in Dyer’s fourth race because of speculation that Dyer may run for Florida Governor in 2014.

“I’m not signing any pledge. That’s a gimmick of my opponents,” said Dyer. “But I plan to serve four years.”

“We can play linguistics,” countered mayoral candidate Mike Cantone. “We can all plan to do a lot of things. But it’s not a gimmick when three other serious candidates for mayor pledge to serve a full term.”

News 13 political analyst Frank Torres says Dyer is using a good strategy.

“It shows you’re not bending to what your opponents want you to do and if it does happen in the future, he does have some wiggle room to move,” said Torres.

Cantone at one point referred to City Hall as having a “culture of corruption.” The other candidates certainly disagree with Dyer on certain policies, but none went so far as to call him corrupt.

“I do have concerns about how business is run in City Hall, Mr. Mayor,” said candidate Phil Diamond. “I feel like we have a political buddy system. I think it’s wrong. I can point to a number of decisions where we’ve made questionable decisions.”

“We don’t need a mayor and commissioners in City Hall making decisions for the taxpayers who have to pay for it,” said candidate Ken Mulvaney.

“I think we’ve run a very transparent government and I’m very proud of that,” added Dyer.

“All of the candidates did a good job going after Buddy Dyer. But they didn’t elaborate enough on how their decisions would have been different than Buddy Dyer’s,” said analyst Frank Torres.

The mayoral election is set for April 3rd. Four city commission seats are also up for reelection.