Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayoral Race More Exciting Than Football Games

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayoral Race More Exciting Than Football Games

Article excerpt

Byline: Ronald L. Littlepage, Times-Union columnist

The warm-up period is just about over and the mayoral race will soon burst upon us in full force so it seemed an appropriate time to visit with Jimmy Ray Bob, the guru of all things political.

I found him and the boys sitting around a fire, using overturned 5-gallon buckets as chairs, sucking down Apalachicola oysters and an occasional cold 'un. Two venison backstraps were being grilled on a nearby mesquite-coal fire.

"I figured you fellas would be watching football," I said.

"Psaw," Jimmy Ray shot back. "Politics is where the excitement is."

"Good," I said. "I wanted to get your take on the mayor's race."

"Well, pull up a bucket and sit for a spell," Jimmy Ray said as he slurped down an oyster bathed in pepper sauce. "That's what the boys and I were just getting ready to talk about."

I knew that was a bit of an exaggeration. Jimmy Ray would be doing the talking and the boys would be doing the listening. I settled in.

"Of course," Jimmy Ray began, "one of the big question marks out there is what Nat Glover is going to do.

"The word on the street is that a poll conducted for Glover came back with some positive numbers. Consider this: If Glover captured the African-American vote as a bloc, which he very well could do, and the votes of 10 percent or so of white Democrats, he could stand at 30 percent in the April primary and, with the crowded field splitting the vote, that could be enough to put him into the general election.

"If that were to happen, he wouldn't have to pick up that many more votes in the general election to win."

Jimmy Ray got up and turned the venison over, slapping on some marinade as he did.

"Glover is taking his time making his intentions known," Jimmy Ray said, "and that's put another mayoral wannabe, Rick Mullaney, into a bit of a bind.

"The word is out that Mullaney won't run if Glover gets into the race. One reason is that they are good friends.

"But Mullaney needs to make up his mind soon. Publicly mulling over a mayoral race while serving as the city's general counsel, which makes you the lawyer for two of the City Council members who are running for mayor, has a bit of a smell to it and you can count on someone making a stink about it if Mullaney drags out his decision. …

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