Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, a “Democrat” who has been indicted in the past for voter fraud and absentee ballot fraud, is continuing to endorse and support conservative Republicans ahead of Election Day. In an attempt to solidify his next steps after he leaves City Hall, Dyer is impacting the ability for his fellow Democrats to stop Rick Scott’s policies and make Florida more progressive and reflective of its residents. It seems to be adding up to the fact Buddy Dyer only wants to win over enough Republican support to put his name in for the next president of the University of Central Florida, whether it hurts his own party and his fellow Democrats or not.
Dyer’s latest conservative support comes for Dean Asher, who is running against local Democratic champion Linda Stewart. Asher is supported by numerous conservative leaders like Jacob Stuart of the local Chamber of Commerce and former Republican speaker Dean Cannon, who hurt working families with bad policies during his tenure. Years ago, Dyer endorsed Cannon over fellow Democrat Amy Mercado (who is now finally on her way to the State Legislature in a more Democratic district). In September, Dyer also endorsed conservative and lifelong Republican operative Mike Miller in his bid for state house against Democrat Beth Tuura, who would make history becoming the first openly lesbian member of the Florida House. So much for Dyer’s support for the LGBT community.
But Dyer’s support for conservative Republican Asher is also shocking considering Dyer apparently gave his support to Linda Stewart earlier. Reports indicate Dyer never “endorsed” Stewart, which is why she never used his name of picture on campaign materials, Dyer only offered his “support.” For Dean Asher, Dyer provided a quote and photo which is being widely circulated in an attempt to take votes away from Stewart in their close election battle. One can only imagine how angry Linda Stewart is right now.
“Dean Asher has been a friend and supporter to me for years,” says Dyer’s quote on the Republican mailer. “When it comes to doing what’s right for the Orlando area, I can always count on Dean. He is not about political party, he is about doing what’s best for our community.”
Local Democrats have known for years Dyer is “not about political party” either, but his actions are literally hurting Democratic efforts to change public policy in Florida. Buddy Dyer’s actions are literally hurting efforts to elect more progressive leaders.
It’s time for the Florida Democratic Party to rebuke Buddy Dyer’s support of conservative Republicans who will continue to hurt middle and working class families. It’s time for the Florida Democratic Party to shut down Buddy Dyer’s support of Republicans who block all progressive efforts in the state. It’s time for the Florida Democratic Party to remove Buddy Dyer as a “leader” for party affairs, events and issues.
Buddy Dyer has made it clear. He is continuing to support conservative Republicans over fellow Democratic candidates. Buddy Dyer wants to keep the conservative status quo in Florida.
No wonder Orlando isn’t the progressive leader Florida needs. We’re still stuck with Buddy Dyer. And Dyer wants to make sure the public remains stuck with conservative Republican leadership.