Dailey and Dozier hold mayoral debate

Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey and Leon County Commissioner Kristin Dozier faced off in a debate at the Tucker Center Friday for the Capitol Tiger Bay Club.
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 7:07 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - For the first time since a razor-thin primary in August, Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey and Leon County Commissioner Kristin Dozier faced off in a debate at the Tucker Center Friday for the Capitol Tiger Bay Club.

The two candidates outlined their clear differences on issues like growth within the city, and how to handle it.

During the debate Dailey pressed Dozier on a 2014 Community Redevelopment agency vote, approving a contract by Mad Dog Construction, which is owned by Dozier’s family.

“You should have taken an extra step and said ‘do I even have a conflict of interest? But no you did not,” Dailey said. “You voted for $860 thousand to go to that project.”

However, Dozier claimed that for any item where she may have a conflict of interest she recuses herself when it comes before the conflict of interest.

Calling Dailey’s claims a “complete fabrication.”

The mayor and county commissioner also clashed over economic development and the $27 million in funding for renovations that went towards Doak Campbell Stadium by the city.

“The budget vote and the bond vote that he was talking about, he knows that I was working against Doak funding,” Dozier said.

Dailey defended his vote for the Doak funding with the economic prospects the stadium renovations will bring in.

“It nets between $80 to $100 million economic return year after year year,” Dailey said. “We’re not just talking about construction jobs, we’re talking about the pizza place on Gaines Street, we’re talking about hotels, gas stations anybody that owns any type of shop whatsoever.”

Dozier also criticized Dailey over the rising cost of housing. She said the city is not investing enough in affordable places to live, which includes single and multi-family housing units.

“These folks have been working for over a year to get these small changes in growth management and the city’s not moving forward,” Dozier said. “We need to move more quickly so that we get more units.”

Dailey said the issue comes down to land use planning for sustainable growth.

“Changing our land use on old outdated motels that can be refurbished into studio apartments,” Dailey said. “This is the kind of creative thinking that you expect for your city leadership, to add more units not just single-family homes with a yard. And we’re doing that and we’re moving forward.”

Of 54 voters in attendance 31 voted in favor of Dailey winning the debate while 23 voted for Dozier.

Both Dailey and Dozier will continue their campaigning as they head into the Nov. 6 election.

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