Boss Lenny Curry, Jacksonville’s mayor, stuck his toe in the water, and found it cold.
Soon after floating a trial balloon about running for Congress, Curry tweeted: “After some time to reflect, I will continue to serve Jax as Mayor until the end of my second term. The next year and a half, I will finish what I started and ensure Jax is in position to continue its record growth and progress.”
Eye on Jacksonville would like to talk to Curry about his decision, but he doesn’t talk to us. It’s kind of like Jen Psaki and Fox News. Telling it like it is doesn’t make you popular with some politicians.
But having speculated about the speculation we can now speculate about Curry’s decision.
What we think is likely is that Curry’s alter ego, Brian Hughes, ordered up some polls and found Curry didn’t have a ghost of a chance.
He was thinking about running for the newly drawn 4th Congressional District, which now will be mostly Jacksonville rather than a thin, gerrymandered strip running from Jacksonville to Tallahassee that was drawn by Democrats to get a Democrat elected.
A Democrat holds the seat now and Democrats now are complaining that the Republican majority in the Florida Legislature drew the district to get a Republican elected.
As Vizzini might say: Inconceivable.
Somehow, we suspect Curry’s heart really wasn’t in the race.
Rather than being the big fish in a little pond – chief executive of a government that governs about a million people — in Congress he would be a little fish in a big pond, one of 435 people each representing about 750,000 people.
People who know him well say this just doesn’t fit his personality.
He would be more likely to run for governor, or president, they say. Well, president might be a bridge too far.
Another consideration might be Curry’s record of taxing and spending, which would not be hugely popular among Republican voters.
Then there is the sword of Damocles hanging over his head: the federal investigation into the botched attempt to sell the city’s water and electric company to a private company.
Until that is over, opponents surely would use it to beat up Curry as the mastermind being the unpopular plan. Curry is not unaware. The primary will be “brutal,” he tweeted.
In short, not getting into the race makes a lot more sense than the previous talk about running.
In just a few weeks, qualifying for the race begins. Among those likely to be candidates are state Sen. Aaron Bean and state Rep. Jason Fischer.