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Kristin Dozier makes her mayoral bid official and draws an immediate rebuke from Mayor John Dailey

A smiling woman holds a microphone.
Bob Howard
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Village Square Flickr account
Kristin Dozier

The race for mayor of Tallahassee is already off to a rough start following county commissioner Kristin Dozier’s entrance Thursday. Dozier has long telegraphed her interest in the post and ahead of making it official, Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey criticized her in a statement to his supporters saying he “won’t be deterred.”

In a Facebook Live announcement Thursday, Dozier pointed to the recent vote by the Blueprint vote to give FSU $27 million for stadium improvements as a catalyst for her decision to run.

"We need a mayor who looks for solutions that work for all of us. As mayor, I’ll lead the effort to ensure we spend our economic development dollars to serve the whole community, as I have for more than a decade," Dozier said in her announcement.

Dozier called the Doak vote an “anti-growth” decision. Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey was a strong proponent of the funding. The issue brought together organizations like the conservative Americans for Prosperity which joined the local NAACP to oppose the project while pro-business groups supported it.

In a statement ahead of Dozier’s announcement, the Mayor’s campaign accused the county commissioner of being “propped up by dark money interests that have been spreading lies about me and my family.”

Dailey touted his record of making "job creation and ethics reform a top priority. We’ve created thousands of good high-paying jobs and passed the strongest ethics reform package in the state," while saying of Dozier, "she has repeatedly VOTED NO on voter-approved projects to improve our roads, sidewalks, parks, and flood mitigation."

Dozier was asked about Dailey's statement. She said she had not read it all but "this is why I am running. It’s negative, and I am going to focus on a positive campaign, what my vision is for Tallahassee, and how I am going to serve you—all of you—as your next mayor.”

Also in the race for mayor is Whitfield Leland III, a local community activist.

In this cycle, several city and county commission incumbents are facing challenges from opponents who say they’re running due to dissatisfaction with how the city is being governed.