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Veteran and small business owner Drew Buchanan announced Wednesday that he would seek election as Mayor of Pensacola.

“I’m running for mayor because we can do better than business as usual,” Buchanan said. “Over the last decade, thanks to the hard work of many proud Pensacolians, our city has grown by leaps and bounds. But despite our growth, we’re still falling behind in ensuring all of our citizens and neighborhoods are brought together around a common vision. It’s time for focused leadership, innovation, and a vision to inspire this city.”

A seventh-generation Floridian, Drew’s family arrived in Pensacola in the years following the Civil War, settling in Pensacola’s diverse Tanyard neighborhood near downtown, alongside other working-class families of African-American, Creole, German, Italian, and Irish descent. From these humble roots came former Florida governor Reubin O’Donovan Askew, Drew’s great-uncle and one of Pensacola’s proudest sons.

Buchanan grew up listening to his great-uncle’s stories and learning about the importance of honesty, personal integrity, and public service. Like Askew, Buchanan enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at age 17, serving for four years as an active duty combat correspondent and broadcast journalist, documenting worldwide military missions. After leaving active duty service, Drew chose to return home to start a now-thriving hospitality business located in downtown Pensacola.

“I’ll bring focused leadership based on a clear and aggressive platform to reform City Hall, practical know-how, and a willingness to embrace innovation,” Buchanan said. “Pensacola is America’s first city and we need leadership that brings people together around a common vision that puts Pensacola on top.”

As mayor, Buchanan plans to cut taxes and fees, wasteful spending, and red tape at City Hall; to make Pensacola the best city in America to do business and create jobs; to expand access to affordable housing and make early childhood education a priority; and to place neighborhoods at the heart of everything City Hall does.

Buchanan also pledged to move the mayor’s office from the 7th floor of City Hall down to the people; to attend council meetings and hold regular town hall meetings, and to bring sunshine and transparency to every corner of city government. Following the example of Askew — a champion of campaign finance reform — Buchanan has also pledged not to accept campaign contributions from corporations, PACs, or special interest groups.

“Democracy is something that is best practiced face-to-face,” Buchanan said. “This campaign will be about Pensacolians and their ideas for the future. I’ll spend the next seven months going door-to-door, engaging directly with citizens to hear their ideas for our city and its future.”

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Editor’s note: Drew Buchanan is the publisher of The Pulse.

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