Bob Buckhorn decides to not run for governor in 2018

By Rod Gipson, Digital Media Producer
Last Updated: Thursday, March 09, 2017, 9:29 AM EST
Viewer Poll

Would you have supported a Bob Buckhorn run for governor in 2018?

View all recent polls
This poll is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those internet users who have chosen to participate.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will not run for governor in 2018. 

  • Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn won't run for Florida governor in 2018
  • Buckhorn cites family issues for not running
  • More political news 

Buckhorn, 58, has decided not to seek the Democratic nomination for Florida governor next year. The mayor made the announcement on his social media accounts early Thursday. 

"I can not tell you how honored I have been by the hundreds of people who have encouraged me to run for Governor," Buckhorn began in a statement posted to his Facebook page. "Your kind words and offers of support inspired me throughout this process and I am forever grateful for your willingness to join me on this journey.

"That being said, I am not planning to be a candidate for Governor in 2018. While I absolutely believe that the State of Florida needs a course correction and a new direction, the timing for me and my family would be a challenge."

As the father of two daughters who are 15 and 11, the all consuming task of running for Governor would cause me to miss the milestones in their lives that I could never get back." 

In a news conference Thursday morning, Buckhorn said: "I tried really hard to get to yes, but just couldn't get there."

Buckhorn's name had long been mentioned as a possible candidate for the governor's office. 

With Buckhorn stepping aside, other names move ahead when discussing the Democratic primary: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has already announced his candidacy. Other possible candidates: U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, Orlando lawyer John Morgan and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. 

Buckhorn, meanwhile, will focus on finishing his second term as mayor 2019. A special assistant to then Tampa Mayor Sandra Freedman in 1995, Buckhorn also served as a Tampa City Councilman in the late 90s. He also ran a public affairs firm before becoming Tampa mayor in 2011.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn's full statement: 

Friends--

I can not tell you how honored I have been by the hundreds of people who have encouraged me to run for Governor. Your kind words and offers of support inspired me throughout this process and I am forever grateful for your willingness to join me on this journey.

That being said, I am not planning to be a candidate for Governor in 2018. While I absolutely believe that the State of Florida needs a course correction and a new direction, the timing for me and my family would be a challenge. As the father of two daughters who are 15 and 11, the all consuming task of running for Governor would cause me to miss the milestones in their lives that I could never get back.

Furthermore, I have a job that I love. A job unlike many jobs in politics requires that I show up and do what I was hired to do. As the CEO of 4400 great city employees, we are focused on furthering the amazing transformation of Tampa that has occurred over the last 6 years. It is a job that I trained for, aspired to and am eternally grateful to the citizens of Tampa who gave me this opportunity.

For me, finishing Tampa's next chapter is more important than starting mine. Absent extenuating circumstances, I intend to finish the job I was hired to do and prepare Tampa for the great things that are about to occur.

I am confident that there will be a number of good candidates on the Democratic side that can speak to the hopes and aspirations of our fellow Floridians. This is a pivotal election for our state and I stand ready to lend my voice to those who would articulate a message that would unite us as a state behind a common vision that ensures that we leave Florida to our children, not a state of diminished possibilities, but a state of unlimited opportunities.


Thank you,
Bob