Mack backs Wiggins for mayor

On Friday, October 8, outgoing City Councilwoman Diane Mack, who placed a distant third in the mayoral primary, unleashed a new blog, Pensacola for the People. The first post on the blog is her endorsement of council colleague Mike Wiggins.

Exhibiting the hubris that has been the hallmark of her brief tenure on the Pensacola City Council, Mack defines what she believes should be the characteristics of the city’s first strong mayor. She calls Wiggins petty and his challenger, Ashton Hayward, dishonest —although it’s unclear whether she is talking about them or their supporters. (However, she doesn’t write how they are petty or dishonest.)

Mack rates Wiggins high in Strength of character, Knowledge of how cities work, Work ethic and stamina and Fiscal conservatism. She has reservations about his vision and plan for Pensacola and his commitment to the forgotten….which are sort of the universal complaints about Wiggins. He’s nice guy, but hasn’t really done much the past 16 years on the city council, especially in the African-American community.

To date, Wiggins has published a seven-point platform: Code of Ethics, Goodwill Ambassador, Nourish small business, Make Pensacola the place to do business, Improve city permitting and Improve parks.

Mack says that Wiggins will release soon “a more substantial vision plan”—-another Wiggins-ism. There is a definite lack of substance in his current platform, but Wiggins placed first in the primary without it and has stayed in office for nearly two decades without having a more measurable platform.

As far as his “commitment to the forgotten,” Mack writes: “He has promised me that he will work diligently toward correcting the failures of the past.” There is big gap between promise and execution—-which is the real failure of the past. Check out the Westside development plan that has sat dormant since 2007 to understand what I’m talking about.

What is the impact of the Mack endorsement? It definitely gives momentum to the Wiggins campaign, but it doesn’t necessarily translate to votes on November 2. Two of Mack’s biggest supporters, Deborah Dunlap and Rev. LuTimothy May, are supporting Ashton Hayward. I don’t expect Mack’s endorsement of Wiggins will make them switch their support.

However, her new blog will add another voice to the political commentary leading up to the election. Charles Bare, who placed fourth in the mayoral primary, has become a cheerleader for Wiggins. I doubt Mack will do the same and I look forward to her analysis of the race.

The election is 24 days away. It’s a dead heat.