Update 4:30 p.m.
Sen. Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee) will keep his seat in the Florida senate. The lawmaker had been mulling a move to run for Tallahassee mayor, but Montford says he realized he could have the greatest impact by continuing in this current position.
“As you know, my whole career has been in public education and working with children and I sincerely believe I can have more of an impact on public education and the needs of children by remaining in the Florida Senate,” Montford says.
Montford says he considered his decision carefully.
“If you look at the decision that I had to make it had a tremendous impact on a lot of people. Remember, I serve 11 counties, half a million people in the Senate district and I work with all the school superintendents in Florida as well. So there are a lot of people that would be impacted,” Montford says.
Montford was expected to make an announcement about his decision over the past weekend. Instead, the announcement came late Monday afternoon. Montford says it was an important decision and he used all the time he felt he needed to make the right choice. Montford will reach his legislative term limit in 2020 and says he expects to continue looking for ways to serve his community.
Tallahassee Democratic Senator Bill Montford is still on the fence on his mayoral candidacy. Montford told reporters that his decision would come this past weekend, but a spokesperson for the senator says he has not yet made up his mind. Political consultant Barney Bishop is an advocate for Montford’s mayoral run, and says he has the qualities Tallahassee needs.
“I think that there are very few people in Tallahassee that have the respect of both Democrats and Republicans. And I’ve watched Bill Montford from his career in the Florida Senate, for all these years, and he is somebody that listens and gets along well with both sides,” Bishop says.
Originally, Montford said his decision would come after this year’s legislative session, which ended earlier this month. If he chooses to stay in the Senate, his term limit will be reached in 2020.