Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer wins reelection bid. He said it's his last
With a decisive victory at the polls, the message "Hello! This is Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer" will be playing for another four years on the Orlando International Airport's tram, welcoming visitors and Orlando residents alike.
On Tuesday night, Dyer addressed a crowd of supporters at The Abbey downtown and gave a victory speech after winning his reelection.
"I'm elated," Dyer said. "It's great to have validation from the voters that say what you've been doing for the last 20 years is what we want more."
Tuesday proved to be a night for Orlando incumbents as commissioners Patty Sheehan and Bakari Burns also won re-elections with huge support. Sheehan, who was first elected in 2000, won with 64% of ballots in her favor, according to the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office's unofficial results. Burns received 82% of the vote.
In the mayoral race, Dyer defeated challengers Steve Dixon, as well as former commissioner Samuel Ings, and local business owner Tony Vargas, taking 72% of the vote, according to unofficial results — the widest margin he's ever won by, according to Dyer's campaign.
During his previous 20 years in office, the Orlando metro area has grown from a population of 205,000 to over 2 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Addressing the crowd, Dyer said he had a lot to do in the next four years including connecting the SunRail to the Orlando International Airport, working on the "MetaCenter" in the Metaverse, finishing the Creative Village, working on homelessness and affordable housing, using the tourism development tax dollars to finish Camping World Stadium, and building the Pulse night club memorial. The city recently purchased the Pulse property with the intention of creating a permanent memorial.
Looking back at his previous terms, Dyer said aside from his voice broadcasting over the MCO tram, his biggest point of pride from over the years as mayor is having played a part in creating a culture of loving acceptance in the city.
"Continuing to be a community that embraces diversity, and equality and fairness for all because that's not happening necessarily in the rest of our country," he said.
Additionally, Dyer also stated that this term would be his last term.
"I'm feeling very nostalgic about that," he said. "I tell people that this is the last one so that people that have either been waiting or thinking about running for mayor have that opportunity if that's something they want to do in four years. This is the last four years."