Lifelong Democrat politician Tommy Hazouri’s appearance in a TV ad supporting Lenny Curry raised a few eyebrows, and inevitably provoked much speculation.
But Hazouri says people make too much of it. His take is that Curry has worked with him for the past four years on various issues and he thinks Curry is doing a good job.
Curry is being challenged for the mayor’s job this year by City Council Member Anna Lopez Brosche.
When Brosche ran successfully for council president last year, Hazouri supported John Crescembini instead.
Among the theories is that Hazouri hopes to land a job in City Hall after he leaves the council.
Not likely. He will be 79, and after spending his whole life in the public sector, he should have ample retirement funds.
Another theory is that he is hoping Curry might in return somehow help his own bid for the council presidency, which he concedes is a goal although not one that consumes him.
It isn’t clear how Curry could help Hazouri garner votes among council members, or why he would.
Hazouri for now is focusing on getting re-elected to his at-large district. He has a couple of opponents, and acknowledges that the exposure in the TV ad might help him as well as Curry.
If you are a politician, anytime your mug is on TV – and you aren’t wearing handcuffs – it helps.
Hazouri was a legislative aide when I first met him. He went from that to the Florida Legislature, then became mayor and served on the School Board before getting elected to the City Council. After all that, his name recognition is high.
I think Hazouri and Brosche just don’t get along, even though both supported the controversial human rights ordinance passed by the council a few years ago.
Political party does not play the part locally that it does on the state and national stage, so the Democrat’s support for a Republican candidate isn’t all that astounding.
Brosche also seems to be seeking bipartisan support. She hired the former head of the Florida Democrat Party to be her campaign adviser. And she is getting a beatdown from Curry in TV ads that could hurt her with Republican voters.
Votes is votes. You can’t win an election without votes from the other party, and in addition there are many voters in the city who are neither Republican nor Democrat.
Hazouri probably helped Curry, without hurting himself. That’s precisely what a politician would like to achieve as his career is winding down.