CF News 13: Orlando mayoral race affects more than just city beautiful

Here is a CF News 13 story I provided analysis on.

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By Margaret Kavanagh , Reporter

ORLANDO –

If you don’t live in Orlando, you may not think next week’s election for Orlando Mayor has an impact on you – but it does.

The candidates include the current Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando City Commissioner Phil Diamond, political activist Mike Cantone and businessman Ken Mulvaney.

The job has a big say in everything from tourism to transportation.

News 13 political analyst Frank Torres said the person selected to run the City of Orlando for the next four years will have a plate full of projects and concerns for both the city and the entire region.

“I am telling you that the winner of Tuesday’s elections will be arguable the most important person for Central Florida moving forward,” Torres said.

And right now the City of Orlando is moving forward in a time when the region has a lot at stake.

“We’ve got so many things going on. The Amway center is still new,” Torres said. “We’ve got SunRail coming, the performing arts center just across the way is being constructed, so there are a lot of important things going on in Orlando.”

He said those projects in Orlando will impacts jobs and the economy in the area.

“A lot of contractors or people working in that industry will commute to Orlando to work in the city and make sure those projects get completed,” Torres said.

While incumbent Mayor Buddy Dyer talked about his accomplishments with the growth of the city, his opponents were critical of the way tax money has been spent, and talked about how they would run the city differently during a debate earlier this month.

But most importantly, tourism is the greatest economic driver for Central Florida.

“We are still the number one vacation destination in the world and that is our reputation with the world,” Torres said. “And that’s where this Orlando’s mayor’s race really becomes important.”

The key items are to lure national events to the Orange County Convention Center and the Amway Center, to continue to get people on flights headed to the Orlando International Airport, and work as an ambassador to the city.

Orlando Mayoral Candidates- Ken Mulvaney, Mayor Buddy Dyer, Phil Diamond, Mike Cantone