Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Weinstein to Run for Mayor Departing JEDC Chief Also Will Leave Super Bowl Post

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Weinstein to Run for Mayor Departing JEDC Chief Also Will Leave Super Bowl Post

Article excerpt

Byline: David DeCamp, Times-Union staff writer

Mike Weinstein, Jacksonville's departing economic development chief, will drop his leadership of the city's Super Bowl Host Committee to run for mayor in 2003.

After witnessing the terrorist attacks on the country last week, Weinstein, a Republican, said the tragedies cemented his desire to run for mayor.

"A lot of things have come about to crystallize the feeling in my heart," he said.

Despite the country's atmosphere of mourning, Weinstein said, "I think the timing is right because this is the time I've come to the decision."

Weinstein, who offered no campaign priorities, was already leaving as executive director of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission Sept. 30 to become the president of the host committee. In departing both, he can avoid potential conflicts of interest during a run for mayor.

However, he will be a host committee member. He will join the payroll as the committee's president Oct. 1 and is expected to leave by Feb. 1.

His announcement yesterday fired an earlier-than-expected salvo in the mayor's race. The contest has escalated almost two years before Mayor John Delaney leaves office, with upwards of a dozen candidates to replace the two-term incumbent who cannot run again because of term limits. Delaney, a close Weinstein friend, has not offered any public endorsement yet and is still deciding whether to give one.

"I've said for some time, and I still believe it, that this is too early to get involved in the mayor's race. But that's a decision for the candidates," said Delaney, who also said he told Weinstein he couldn't be JEDC chief and run for mayor.

Meanwhile, the host committee for the 2005 Super Bowl is beginning its search for Weinstein's replacement. Committee co-chairs Tom Petway and Peter Rummell -- who support Weinstein's run for office -- said the group will begin searching locally. …

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