A bitter and hard-fought race between two Democrats to replace Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is over.
John Dailey, a three-term Leon County commissioner, won with 51.47 percent of the vote, beating Dustin Daniels, the former chief of staff to Gillum, with 48.53 percent for the $76,000-a-year job. Dailey won by a difference of about 2,300 votes.
“I’m humbled, very excited and ready to go to work,” Dailey said at his victory party at Andrew’s Downtown, right across from City Hall. “We always knew it was going to be a close race. My opponent ran a hard campaign.”
Dailey, 45, is a government consultant with 20 years of experience working with local governments.
Daniels, 29, is a college teacher who served as Andrew Gillum’s chief of staff while an undercover FBI investigation was going on and while the combined city and county crime rate was highest in the state.
Dailey and Daniels had a lot in common – both were student government presidents at Florida State University, both had degrees from the London School of Economics.
They agreed on the challenges facing Tallahassee but differed on solutions and on where the blame lied for the problems.
Dailey wanted to ensure transparency by giving the city’s ethics board the authority it needs to provide oversight of public officials and require a detailed financial disclosure form.
“We also need to give citizens their voice back by repealing the policy limiting public comment time at City Commission meetings to thirty minutes,” Dailey said.
Dailey tried to portray the problems of the city as falling on the lack of strong leadership of the mayor — and by extension Daniels — while Daniels fought back by frequently calling Dailey’s comments “Republican talking points.”
Daniels offered several ideas to help the city overcome its crime problems, grow economically and tighten up on ethics regulations.
The campaign got particularly ugly in the last few weeks after Daniels put out a flier portraying Dailey as being backed by the NRA and GOP. Dailey responded in kind by capitalizing on a state ethics investigation filed against Daniels.
Story from tallahassee.com