Waiting’s over, Dockery’s in governor’s raceby Dara Kam | November 2nd, 2009
Dockery confirmed that she will file papers to enter the race tomorrow.
The Lakeland Republican earned an ardent following in the spring when she led a winning crusade against a proposed Central Florida commuter rail line backed by prominent GOP leaders including Gov. Charlie Crist.
Dockery raised a ruckus about a deal in which the state would have paid transportation behemoth CSX Inc. more than $600 million for 61 miles of track for the SunRail project. Lawmakers ultimately refused to pass it even after a last-ditch effort to link it to the floundering Tri-Rail that was $80 million in the red last year.
Florida’s lagging economy that forced the legislature to trim more than $5 billion from the state budget over two years bolstered Dockery’s opposition to the project.
Dockery also criticized a component of the deal that makes the state liable for any accidents on the rail line even if they are caused by CSX, which would still be allowed to run freight cars on the commuter line.
Perhaps not coincidentally, SunRail supporter McCollum, who hails from the Orlando area, today ordered Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos to appear before the Cabinet on Nov. 17 to give an update on the liability issue.
“I strongly support legislation to implement a SunRail agreement,” McCollum wrote.