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Tampa's Buckhorn won't run for Florida governor in 2018

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via @Danielson_Times

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has decided not to run for governor next year, opting instead to finish his second and last term at City Hall in 2019.

Buckhorn, 58, is giving two reasons for his decision. First, he doesn’t want to miss important family moments with his daughters Grace, 15, and Colleen, 11, to pursue an “all-consuming” 18-month campaign.

“The state of Florida needs a course correction and a new direction,” he said in a statement emailed to supporters and posted on social media at 5 a.m. Thursday. But “the timing for me and my family would be a challenge.”

Also, he said he loves the job he has, and has work to complete in the 24 months that remain before he is term-limited out of the mayor’s office.

“Finishing Tampa’s next chapter is more important than starting mine,” he said. “Absent extenuating circumstances, I intend to finish the job I was hired to do and prepare Tampa for the great things that are about to occur.”

Even with Buckhorn out of the race, the Democratic primary is drawing a crowd: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who announced last week, plus expected or potential candidacies of former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Orlando area personal injury lawyer John Morgan, Winter Park businessman Chris King and Palm Beach businessman Jeff Greene.

See full story here.

Buckhorn's statement:

“I cannot tell you how honored I have been by the hundreds of people who have encouraged me to run for governor. Your kind words and offers of support inspired me throughout this process, and I am forever grateful for your willingness to join me on this journey.

“That being said, I am not planning to be a candidate for governor in 2018. While I absolutely believe that the state of Florida needs a course correction and a new direction, the timing for me and my family would be a challenge. As the father of two daughters who are 15 and 11, the all-consuming task of running for governor would cause me to miss the milestones in their lives that I could never get back.

“Furthermore, I have a job that I love. A job, unlike many jobs in politics, (that) requires that I show up and do what I was hired to do. As the CEO of 4,400 great city employees, we are focused on furthering the amazing transformation of Tampa that has occurred over the last six years. It is a job that I trained for, aspired to and am eternally grateful to the citizens of Tampa who gave me this opportunity.

“For me, finishing Tampa’s next chapter is more important than starting mine. Absent extenuating circumstances, I intend to finish the job I was hired to do and prepare Tampa for the great things that are about to occur.

“I am confident that there will be a number of good candidates on the Democratic side that can speak to the hopes and aspirations of our fellow Floridians. This is a pivotal election for our state and I stand ready to lend my voice to those who would articulate a message that would unite us as a state behind a common vision that ensures that we leave Florida to our children, not a state of diminished possibilities, but a state of unlimited opportunities.”

--RICHARD DANIELSON, Tampa Bay Times

Photo credit: Skip O'Rourke, Tampa Bay Times file

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