As expected, former TV talking head and liberal Democrat Donna Deegan has announced she will run for mayor in the 2023 elections.
She has no experience in office. She ran for Congress in 2020 and was slaughtered by former Sheriff John Rutherford.
Anything can happen in politics (Joe Biden was elected president) but Deegan’s run seems to be a long shot. But she has a shot.
She might be the only Democrat in the unitary primary, facing Matt Carlucci and Al Ferraro, two Republican city councilmen who have announced their candidacy. Any number of other candidates also could appear before the deadline, including Daniel Davis, former council president.
The top two vote-getters will have a runoff unless one gets more than 50 percent of the vote. Deegan will garner a lot of liberal votes and could make the runoff.
At that point, it gets dicey. How will the Republicans In Name Only (RINOs) vote? If it is Deegan vs. Carlucci, where will the people go who might not think Carlucci is conservative enough?
Deegan certainly is liberal enough to suit the slim majority of Jacksonville voters who marked their ballots for Biden last year. (While Republicans have pulled even with Democrats in registration statewide, Democrats still are more prevalent in Jacksonville.)
Deegan ran in 2020 on a platform of socialized medicine (“health care is a right”) and disguised gun control: she was “for” the Second Amendment and also for “sensible gun reform.”
She also opined that “the climate crisis must be addressed.”
She said electing her mayor will bring “change for good.” This would include improving neighborhood infrastructure, public health and economic development – the same things the incumbent mayor and other prospective candidates have championed.
Deegan is 60. She graduated from Florida State University and worked at First Coast News for many years as a reporter and anchor. After being diagnosed with cancer she initiated a national marathon to raise money for breast cancer research. Her maiden name was Hazouri and she was a cousin of the late Tommy Hazouri.