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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bob Buckhorn: Don't expect a decision on governor's race before January

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who said he's received a lot of encouragement to run for governor in 2018, said Wednesday he'll take some time to digest this week's election results and likely make a decision after the first of the year.

BRIAN BLANCO | Special to the Times (2012)

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who said he's received a lot of encouragement to run for governor in 2018, said Wednesday he'll take some time to digest this week's election results and likely make a decision after the first of the year.

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November

Recent speculation about Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s political future has toggled between two possibilities: running for governor in 2018 or taking a job with a Hillary Clinton administration.

Today, with option two off the table, it’s all about the governor’s race. Wednesday morning Buckhorn said, check back with me after New Year’s.

“At this point, I don’t have an answer,” the two-term Democrat said during an interview at City Hall. “Certainly, last night’s outcome will have an impact on those deliberations. I have to look at the data as well to see what the new registration numbers look like, what the turnout model looks like.

“I do think with a Trump presidency that the midterm elections of 2018 take on a whole different flavor,” he said. “Historically, Democrats have not done well in the second year of a Democratic administration. Whether or not the reverse is true we don’t know because we haven’t experienced this in a while. But I think it’s an assumption that has to be put in the calculation.

“I think the dust has to settle on all of this before anybody who’s looking at an ‘18 election makes a decision,” said Buckhorn, who is term-limited as mayor after 2019. “If my decision is no, it’s because I’m perfectly happy doing what I’m doing and love coming to work every day and want to finish my job.

“I’m blessed that I have the two options. In either case, they’re good options to have. And I’ve got a lot of stuff to finish, too.”

Still, there's no doubt the landscape is transformed in all kinds of ways. As he drove his two daughters to school Wednesday morning, they asked whether Donald Trump’s victory means that they won’t have a chance to go to the White House, as in previous years, for things like the president’s annual Christmas party.

“Yeah, we’ll go,” Buckhorn said he told his daughters. “but we’ll be in the tourist line.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 10:54am]

    

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