Orange County business executive and veteran Neil “Paul” Paulson filed paperwork on Tuesday to challenge Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, who is seeking a fifth term.
“After very serious consideration and responding to the encouragement of many residents and neighbors, I have decided to present the voters with a real choice in this election by seeking the office of Mayor,” Paulson stated.
“I strongly believe that city leaders need to put more emphasis on helping our neighborhoods with better roads, faster public safety response time, and rebuilding our infrastructure rather than spending money, time and energy on publicly funded or bonded venues for multi-millionaire businessmen”
Paulson, 61, served a decade in the United States Army and attended law school with Dyer, including some of the same classes. He currently serves on the board of HelpTheVets.org, a non-profit veterans’ assistance organization.
Critical of the Mayor for the recent destruction of the Tinker Field grandstands, Paulson pledges to roll back the 17.7 percent property tax increase passed by the city council last year.
In what is sure to be an abbreviated campaign season, Paulson will be a heavy underdog. Dyer already has over $300,000 in the bank, and nearly universal support from the business community.
Also seeking Dyer’s job is Ronald Muroski, as qualification for Orlando municipal races ends this week.