Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Delaney Supports Mullaney; Attorney, Friend of Mayor Considering Run for Office

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Delaney Supports Mullaney; Attorney, Friend of Mayor Considering Run for Office

Article excerpt

Byline: David DeCamp, Times-Union staff writer

Delivering a political thunderclap, Mayor John Delaney pledged his support to the potential Jacksonville mayoral campaign of his close friend Rick Mullaney, the city's top attorney.

"If Rick Mullaney were to run, I would be supporting and endorsing him," Delaney told The Florida Times-Union last night.

He declined to say why: "I don't think there's any need to go into that now." But other Republicans chalked it up to their 30-year friendship.

Mullaney, a Republican who has never run for office, intends to decide after Jan. 1 whether to join a field that already includes seven candidates and more than $2 million in campaign donations.

The popular mayor, who also is the local Republican Party vice chairman, said he decided to contact the newspaper to end rumors and speculation about his endorsement. Most of the candidates are his friends, including longtime aide Mike Weinstein, a Republican. So is another potential candidate, Sheriff Nat Glover, a Democrat.

Mullaney said the mayor's endorsement is one of the most important issues to consider when weighing a campaign.

"Obviously, I'm very pleased in the mayor's confidence in me. I certainly believed all along that if I ran, this mayor would endorse me," Mullaney said.

Candidates also have courted Delaney's advice. Some hoped to have his endorsement, considered a potentially powerful tool with voters. Delaney is barred by term limits from running for a third term.

"It will have a huge impact on the race," Duval County Republican Party Chairman Tom Slade said, calling Mullaney one of the city's best public servants. "It gives a huge boost to the infant campaign of Rick Mullaney."

Delaney said he would resign as party vice chairman to endorse a run by Mullaney, whom he has known since high school. Most Republicans expect the vice chairman to stay neutral among a current field of four party members, or resign to endorse Mullaney. …

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