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Dailey and Daniels To Square Off In Tallahassee Mayoral Race

John Dailey and Dustin Daniels on Black Background

Tallahassee Mayoral candidates John Dailey and Dustin Daniels will face off in the November general election.

Energy is was high primary night at Coosh on Madison street where John Dailey’s supporters watched as election results ticked in. The current Leon County Commissioner says he believes his experience makes him the best person for the job.

“I’ve got over 20 years of experience working with municipal governments from Seattle to Key West Florida. Both of my master’s degrees have a concentration in municipal governance. I’m from Tallahassee and I’ve dedicated 12 years on the Leon County Commission. I understand municipal services and I understand our community and I have what it takes to move us forward,” Dailey says.

Dailey’s career has been focused in local government. He started out with the Florida league of cities and has worked with the national league of cities since 2001. And he says his experience as former chair of the Leon County Commission will help him guide a city commission that will be made up largely of new members—with three seats open this election cycle.

“It’s important that we elect the right leadership as mayor that understand the council form of government, is able to work in a positive coalition with the city commission, bring this community back together to be able to move us forward,” Dailey says.

Credit Dustin Daniels campaign Facebook

Meanwhile, across the street, Dustin Daniels campaign held its election night watch party at Township in college town. While Daniels’ group was more subdued the excited was evident as Daniels edged toward the top. Daniels served as current Mayor Andrew Gillum’s chief of staff. And says his work and educational background will serve him well in the position of mayor. But more than that he says his experience growing up as a young person in poverty will inform the decisions he makes.

“I think a person’s lived experience is important. I think informs the kind of priorities that a person has when they pursue public service. I have all the respect in the world for my opponent but also think that he comes from a very more privileged background than I do and I think a lot of the people in this community are looking for change," Daniels says. "They’re looking for someone who is going to fight for working class issues and my question is how are you going to fight for working class issues when you’ve never seen them or experienced them?"

Former Florida House Representative Michelle Rehwinkle Vasilinda came in third with Carrie Litherland, Joe West and Norris Barr trailing.

Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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