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Delaney Would Be a Strong Choice for Senate

delaneyAs we noted earlier today on our JaxPolitics.com blog, it seems that John Delaney has become a front-running candidate for the appointment to fill out the remainder of Mel Martinez's Senate term.

There are many reasons that Delaney would be an excellent choice for Governor Crist. Politically, it would be very smart for him to name someone from North Florida, an area he might need help in during next year's Republican primary.

When he left office in 2003, Delaney's poll numbers were above 80% positive among all demographic groups. Republicans, Democrats, African-Americans... he was almost universally popular.

But beyond the political advantages for the Governor, Delaney would be a strong choice to represent Florida's (and Jacksonville's) interests in the U.S. Senate.

John Delaney was the first Republican elected Mayor of Jacksonville since the 1870’s. He defeated 2 former Mayors on a platform of cutting taxes and shrinking government.

His record as Mayor shows a commitment to run government more like a business. During his two terms in office, the number of non-uniformed city employees was reduced by more than 25% without layoffs, but rather through privatization and locating efficiencies.

Delaney also lead the fight on the Better Jacksonville Plan, which laid out a clear vision for funding public works projects with a voter approved sales tax (57-43%) that will sunset once the projects have been paid for. The massive growth management plan built roads, helped clean up the river and contaminated land, bought park space, redeveloped downtown and an old Navy base, built new libraries, an arena and baseball park.

Under the Delaney administration, the city's overall property tax rate was rolled back to the lowest level in 40 years.

Delaney also had a proven track record on environmental issues. Jacksonville now boasts the largest park system of any American city. The former Mayor has won awards from virtually every environmental group (Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land, Audubon, Florida Wildlife Association, etc.)

Delaney is pro-Life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-business, pro-growth, and tough on crime. He's been fully tested and vetted by his 8 years as Mayor as well as the 6 years he's served as President of the University of North Florida. He just finished a successful stint as Interim Chancellor of the State's University System.

And oh yes, perhaps most importantly, Delaney is actually interested in serving the rest of the Senate term. Unlike some of the other candidates that have been considered only to publicly reject the opportunity. (Most recently: Congressman Bill Young)

His experience as a prosecutor, in the State Attorney's office, as the General Counsel, Mayor, and now President of UNF make him a safe, appealing and highly qualified choice for Governor Crist.

Florida would be lucky to be represented by Senator John Delaney, even if it's only for 16 months.

8 Responses »

  1. Your comments are dead on. I have known John Delaney for years and consider him a straight shooter and visionary. Not only is he a good politician, but just an overall good person. As you wrote, Florida would be lucky to be represented by Senator John Delaney.

    You failed to mention the part that John was a self-made man. He did not come from money and his parents raised him right.

    It would be a sad day for UNF to lose him even though they took a ridiculous amount of time to select him as President.

    Austin, thanks for speaking so highly of John. Normally people have to die to have such kind words written about them.

  2. Yea, that 'Better Jacksonville Plan' has worked out great. I think I would have left that one off the list.

  3. When are people going to realize that running government like a business doesn't work??? Better Jax is a mess, and now our city is being run like a business by two guys (Peyton, Clark) whose dads did all the hard work in their family businesses.

  4. Delaney was a very popular and effective prosecutor, Mayor and University President. He would be an excellent choice

  5. John Delaney was an effective mayor who did not shrink from facing up to Jacksonville's problems, telling the people about them, and doing something innovative about them. Instead of following the crowd, he led from out in front of his constituencies, as a good leader must. But, he figured out (through the Better Jax Plan) how to bring the people along with him by making sure they bought in to his plans. The failures of the Better Jax Plan lay in its execution, for which Mayor Delaney cannot be blamed.

    John Delaney has also been unusually effective as a university president, a job that can sometimes be like herding cats. His gifts seem to be in executive roles, rather than in legislative ones, which makes me wonder think it's a mistake to take him out of an important job at which he is very good, and put him into a temporary position where he'll have little chance to build up influence. No one in the Senate will fear him, because they know that after sixteen months, they'll never see him again.

    If I were John, I'd take a tip from Congressman Bill Young and say, "Thanks, but no thanks."

    Meanwhile, any news as to why Mel Martinez is really putting Florida in this position?

  6. Why is Delaney's partnering with Rep. Corrine Brown to successfully turn over control of the St. Johns's River and its tributaries in the Jacksonville area to the federal government not mentioned in articles about him? [At the same time, Rep. Stearns protected the St. Johns River in his district from federal takeover.]

    Banks, auto manufacturers, and likely healthcare, energy and communication. Haven't we had enough federalizing?

  7. (Sigh). Crist will probably select Delaney, because both of them are only pretending to be conservatives. They're both spendaholics with other people's money. And Crist is anti-real-world-energy (in that he opposes coal and offshore drilling). Does anyone know whether Delaney is also enamored with fantasy energy that would send us back to the middle ages? (Solar and wind.)

  8. As I recall, Delaney spent money like a drunken sailor. Testified at one Grand Jury hearing that he was clueless as to where several tens of millions went, and more or less emptied the treasury as The Ortega Aristovracy Party went out of office and The Gateway Party came in. (Will admit that the city does look better.)
    Last three times I saw him: 1. When Dick Chaney came to town as a VP candidate. Delaney was on the platform but didn't speak! Think he was afraid of the "BOO" word. 2. At a Republician Executive Committee meeting where questions were only accepted on pre-screened 3X5 cards. 3. At a downtown "Landing" campaign stop for George Bush where Delaney pulled what I call a "Herb Sang". Near the end, Sang was getting the "BOO" word at his teacher rallies, so he took to holding up some early grade young student that had just won some award when he was introduced. (Can't "BOO" a kid!) Delaney took his two young kids with him. (Only got about six short "BOO" words.)
    Looks like his first trial balloon for the Senate collapsed. His attempt to get appointed Lt. Gov, went flat, and now he's been skipped over for a Senate appointment. BOO HOO!
    (Poor Howdy Doody. If Buffalo Bob isn't around to pull your strings and dance you across the stage, looks like it's about time to go in the box in the closet.)
    "Real Republican" here.