Challengers call out Mayor Buddy Dyer for refusing to debate



With city elections about two weeks away, mayoral candidates Paul Paulson and Sunshine Linda Marie Grund took to the steps of Orlando City Hall and called out Mayor Buddy Dyer for avoiding participating in any debates with them.

“Mr. Dyer has been a no-show at almost all of the debates,” Paulson says. “He’s up there in his ivory tower eating cake, while us folks are down here eating bread, meat, and potatoes.”

Financially, here's how the three candidates stack up: Grund's campaign treasurer's report notes that she's raised just $3,496 for her no-frills campaign. Read her treasurer's report here. Paulson's campaign treasurer's report notes that his campaign is primarily self-funded – he loaned it $610,000, with an additional $590 coming from individual donors. Read the treasurer's report here. Dyer's campaign raised approximately $373,000 thus far, from various sources. Read his report here.

Grund says Dyer is hiding behind his incumbency.

“There’s no opportunity to publicly voice our platform,” she says. “He’s not providing an opportunity for you to see your options.”

The press conference comes a day after the Orlando Sentinel endorsed Dyer for re-election. The only place where the candidates did appear together was at a Sentinel forum where they were all interviewed, but as Grund points out, no debate took place.

On Wednesday, Oct. 21 Orlando Weekly will publish its interviews with all of the candidates up for election this season. All political candidates (except for Commissioner Tony Ortiz, who has no challenger, and Commissioner Sam Ings, who did not provide an in-person or over-the-phone interview) has taken our pop-quiz style exam of 11 random and relevant questions about Orlando.

City elections are on Nov. 3. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Find out who's running here. 

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