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Tallahassee Commissioner Gil Ziffer drops out of mayoral race

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Posted at 5:44 AM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 12:23:43-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A familiar name will no longer be on the ballot when you vote for the next mayor of Tallahassee.

City commissioner Gil Ziffer has taken his hat out of the ring, dropping out of the 2018 mayoral race.

In a statement Monday, Ziffer said he won't run for mayor or any other seat on the city commission. Ziffer has been a city commissioner since 2009.

"With a great deal of thought and discussion with my family, I have decided to not seek the Tallahassee Mayor’s position, nor will I seek any other position on the City Commission," he said Monday in a statement emailed to WTXL. 

Ziffer, a two-term commissioner, had announced in September 2017 he was running for mayor. He had hoped to replace Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who in his first term as mayor decided to run for governor in 2018.

However, in his statement, Ziffer also said, quote: "If senator Bill Montford chooses to run, I believe he will be the mayor Tallahassee needs."

WTXL reached out to senator Montford to see if he plans to run. We haven't heard back yet.

With Ziffer's departure, this leaves only two people currently running for mayor, Erik David, a veteran and Tallahassee native who calls himself a "social democrat" and also Joe West, a local Vietnam veteran.

In noting he would not run for mayor, Ziffer cited his accomplishments since joining the City Commission. 

"Since joining the Commission in 2009, we’ve had many successes," he said. "Infrastructure alone includes our award-winning Cascades Park, several segments of Capital Circle, a redesigned and rebuilt Franklin Boulevard, Gaines Street and the hundreds of millions in private sector dollars in construction as a result of public infrastructure improvements."  

He praised Tallahassee's more than 2,800 workers, saying that they "go to work everyday providing the many and far-reaching services our residents have come to expect."

Before leaving office, however, he has set himself the task of defending home rule, saying it has never been more important.

"I plan on re-doubling my efforts to defeat the intrusion and limitations our State Legislature seems to try and advance at every turn as we move through the 2018 Florida Legislative Session," he said.

Ziffer is the president of the Florida League of Cities and serves on the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities. 

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