Communications Exec Bob Lotane to Run for Mayor
By: Jeffrey Schweers , Democrat Staff Writer
Published 12:47 p.m. ET May 26, 2017
Longtime public relations executive Bob Lotane said Friday he plans to file for mayor of Tallahassee after many years considering a run for local office.
“I thought about running for years, and I’ve worked in and around politics,” Lotane told the Tallahassee Democrat Friday.
Mayor Andrew Gillum’s decision to run for governor in 2018 made Lotane’s decision to run for mayor that much easier.
Lotane plans to file Tuesday and open a campaign account with an initial deposit of $35,000.
Florida State University graduate student Erik David has already filed to run, and City Commissioner Scott Maddox is considering also filing for mayor — a position he previously held. All three are Democrats.
Lotane said he’s grown to love the city he’s lived in since 2000. It's been run well but could be even better, he said.
“You never want to get complacent,” he said. “I want to aim higher and raise the bar.”
Lotane, 58, is a former Hill + Knowlton executive who still does consulting for the company. After nine years on the board of the Capital Area Chapter of the Red Cross, he stepped down last week.
Several years ago, he nearly died after contracting West Nile virus.
Lotane said he is working on several policy proposals that he will announce after they’re more fully developed.
A top issue for Lotane is the food desert that will be created by the closing of the south side Walgreens and Winn Dixie. “People cannot rely on fast food and convenience stores,” he said.
He’s also concerned about recent legislation to increase the homestead property tax exemption Florida voters will decide on the 2018 ballot. Lotane said he’s concerned about the impact it could have on local government if it passes and would be willing to eliminate the mayor’s budget if it would help.
“Some type of restructuring needs to be debated,” he said.
Article originally posted on Tallahassee Democrat.