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Jack Seiler for Governor? Why He Shouldn't Run

Over the past few weeks, as the political yammering mercifully subsided and we sank into the offseason for national intrigue and drama, out of the quiet rose the name Jack Seiler. That's because Fort Lauderdale's mayor is mulling a run at governor. And though that 2014 election may seem as distant as Kenya, now is the time for unlikely candidates to nurse delusion and wonder whether maybe — just maybe — this is their time.

We're here to say, Jack Seiler, that this is not your time.

He should not run for governor for any number of reasons — but the most important being that he'd never win. This concerns him little, as he told us recently over the telephone: "My consideration on running is that I'm not too concerned about who else would be in the race."

Look, Seiler is already mayor of one of Florida's largest and most dynamic cities, and he has a responsibility to the people who elected him not to entertain fantasy. By almost all accounts, he's lucid and well-liked. Broward has a jobless rate of 7.1 percent, down from 7.5 percent in September, one of the state's lowest. The housing market too has surged, and the median price of a home, $175,000, is 6 percent higher than it was a year ago.

What's more, Seiler isn't insane. In a time when there's a direct corollary between lunacy and political achievement — Allen West, we're talking to you, baby — Seiler has shown himself to be a competent bureaucrat.

He just ain't known. And that's why he'd never win and shouldn't run, which would just waste all of our time and take him from his mayoral duties. Leave this one for the prime-time talent, Jack. Because the folks who will clash with the extraterrestrial Rick Scott — Alex Sink and Charlie Crist — are beyond your ken.

For anyone to win an election in our huge, diverse state, says former Democratic Minority Leader Dan Gelber, he or she needs statewide celebrity. "It's very hard to be well-known in a state of 19 million people," said Gelber, who's also considering a run at governor. "Crist is known; so is Sink, but the rest of us aren't. And that's the reality."

So "Governor Jack Seiler" may have a nice ring to it. But it ain't happening. Instead, let's focus on areas where you can succeed — and that's right here in Fort Lauderdale.

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Terrence McCoy

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