Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glover Is Likely to Make Runoff; Hazouri May Not

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glover Is Likely to Make Runoff; Hazouri May Not

Article excerpt

Byline: Ronald L. Littlepage, Times-Union columnist

The fight now is for second place. Sheriff Nat Glover's announcement last Friday that he is running for mayor completely changed the dynamics in the race that began more than a year ago.

Even though he is a late entrant, most political observers believe that Glover is a lock to get into a runoff. In a crowded field such as this one, that's an easy argument to make.

For the African-American community, Glover's candidacy is historic. He is the first black to have a real shot at winning the city's top job.

The excitement associated with that should lead to a big turnout among African-American voters. Assuming most of them would vote for Glover, that would give the sheriff about 20 percent of the vote to start with. Add to that the white voters he would attract and Glover could easily climb over 30 percent in the April 15 election.

That would leave the five other major candidates scrambling to try to score at least in the low 20s to grab the other spot in the May 13 general election.

Glover's announcement left the other camps assessing what they need to do.

The candidate hurt the most by Glover's entrance into the race is former Mayor Tommy Hazouri.

Hazouri's best chance at making the runoff had been for him to capture most of the vote of his fellow Democrats. With the other four main candidates all being Republicans, Hazouri had hoped that they would split the Republican vote enough that he would get a spot in the runoff.

That went out the window with the announcement of Glover, also a Democrat.

In fact, the Democratic Party probably would prefer that Hazouri drop out of the race. That would allow the party's high-rollers, and there are plenty of them now in Glover's camp, to pour what's known as soft money into the party's coffers to help the Glover campaign.

That's the same strategy the Republicans used to get around campaign contribution limits to individual candidates when John Delaney ran for mayor in 1995. …

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