State Sen. Bill Montford, whose district includes Florida A&M University, might soon step down from that position to run for mayor of Tallahassee. That could create a pathway for another Senate run by long-time FAMU advocate Curtis Richardson.
Richardson sought the Democratic nomination to succeed Famu alumnus Alfred “Al” Lawson in that seat back in 2010 when Lawson was set to leave due to term limits. But Montford ended up winning the primary and general election. Tallahassee voters later elected Richardson to the City Commission in 2014, where he currently serves as mayor pro-tempore.
Montford is now coming close to his own Senate term limit in 2020 and must make a decision on whether jump into the open Tallahassee mayor’s race. He would have to leave the Senate before declaring his candidacy due to the “resign to run” law. Montford is expected to be the front-runner if he seeks the job.
Richardson succeeded Lawson in the Florida House of Representatives back in 2000 when Lawson ran for the Senate. He regularly served as the House sponsor for Lawson’s legislation that steered hundreds of millions into FAMU. Richardson also helped Lawson block an effort by Florida State University President T.K. Wetherell in 2007 to take away FAMU budget control of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.
Montford was quiet when Sen. John Thrasher tried to splitthe College of Engineering in 2014 and also when legislative changes were made that led to the end to FAMU budget control at the college in 2015.
Before becoming a member of the Florida House, Richardson served as a Tallahassee code magistrate, member of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, and member of the Leon County School Board. He is an alumnus of FSU and the University of West Florida.