Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MacKay Greeted in Duval 3-Day Bus Trip to Revive Campaign

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MacKay Greeted in Duval 3-Day Bus Trip to Revive Campaign

Article excerpt

Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay sought to breathe life into his nearly

dormant North Florida campaign with a three-day bus trip from

Pensacola, that ended yesterday in a raucous rally in


About 100 Duval County Democrats greeted him with cheers and

chants of "We Want Buddy" when his bus arrived at the new

Democratic headquarters on State Street.

"I'm glad Buddy hasn't given up on North Florida," said Ed

Wanzer, president of Duval County Young Democrats. "We're going

to fight for him as much as we can."

Many of those present acknowledged the difficulty MacKay faces

in overcoming Republican Jeb Bush's double-digit lead in the

polls in the governor's race but said he could pull it out in

the six weeks remaining.

"You never can tell in politics till it's over," said Don


McClure said he thought the key to North Florida for MacKay was

the heavy voter turnout expected in the 3rd Congressional

District race between U.S. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., and her

Republican challenger Bill Randall.

"He doesn't necessarily have to take it [Jacksonville],"

McClure said. "He just has to do well here."

State Sen. Betty Holzendorf, D-Jacksonville, told the crowd

that Jacksonville might surprise experts.

"Jacksonville and Duval County for many, many years was known

as the spoiler," Holzendorf said.

MacKay was obviously energized by the crowd at the event -- the

last one on the grueling trip that took him and running mate

Rick Dantzler to churches, courthouse squares and party

headquarters in a dozen communities.

"These are the people that know how to make things happen in

Jacksonville and Duval County," MacKay said at the end of the

Jacksonville rally.

In his trek across the northern tier of the state, MacKay

sought to remind North Floridians he is one of them.

Florida roots may not count for much in South Florida where a

large percentage of residents come from elsewhere, but MacKay

and Dantzler are hoping they do in the counties to the north. …

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