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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer Seeks His Sixth Consecutive Term in November 7th Mayoral Election

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
Orlando Mayor's Office
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

Orlando - Friday, November 3, 2023: Incumbent Buddy Dyer is seeking his sixth consecutive term as Mayor of Orlando. The election will be held next Tuesday November 7th.

The 65-year-old has spent the last 20 years as Mayor of the City Beautiful. During that time, Orlando has undergone a massive transformation. Since 2003, the Orlando-Metro area has doubled in size. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, since 2010, Orlando alone has grown by an average of more than 130 people a week, but housing has not kept up with demand.

“We have to catch up on the housing side of the equation," says Dyer. "So, in our region, there is somewhere between a thousand and fifteen-hundred people that are still moving to our community, our region, on a weekly basis."

The Mayor says he's running again to finish the job he started. “Get SunRail to the airport now, get the Pulse memorial done, get the stadium, get affordable housing, homeless issues. So, there’s a lot to continue to work on.”

But some activist groups and politicians have accused Dyer of siding with money interests instead of the most vulnerable people in Orlando. For example, doing more for tourism and economic sectors rather than residents.

Dyer says it’s a balancing act..

“Oh, there’s probably a ton of things that I would do differently. Probably at the end of every single day, I can think of something that I would have done differently, but I feel like the most important things that we’ve done is to build a culture of collaboration, that people truly work together, and then to embrace diversity, so I wouldn’t change that for anything.”

According to political expert, UCF Professor Aubrey Jewett, an Orlando resident, Dyer stands to win this election. Jewett says Dyer has name recognition, plenty of funding, and an undeniable connection to the residents. “It would take a lot to beat Buddy Dyer -- He really is an institution of Central Florida politics, and especially in the city of Orlando.”

Dyer Supporter Anita Thomas would agree. The 36-year-old mother of four has experienced homelessness but says she sees Dyer working to improve the lives of people. "I was pretty much giving up, but watching, like who's fighting for what I'm fighting for? It's like, everything I wanted done, Buddy Dyer was already in place. I'm being a part of everything that he has promised. And I've seen the results."

According to Dyer, his biggest challenge for the last 20 years has been homelessness, and that if he wins again he will continue doing what he’s been doing.“There’s not gonna be a sea change. People trust me. They know that what I say is what I mean, and what we are going to do.”

Dyer says this is probably his last run. By the end of the next four-year term, he says he would like to enjoy his golden years, and his new grandson.