Former City Council member Randy DeFoor has been “Baker acted” and will not serve as the city’s next general counsel.
DeFoor notified Mayor Donna Deegan today that she was withdrawing her name from consideration after learning she did not have enough votes on the council to secure the appointment.
Deegan is a Democrat who had reached across the aisle for the appointment. DeFoor is a Republican who represented the Avondale-Ortega area as a council member.
Republicans have a 14-member majority on the 19-member council. That would have been enough votes to confirm the appointment even with one Republican currently out of the country.
But it was worse than that. She might have had Democrat support because of the mayor. But eight Republicans defected, meaning she could not win.
Throwing DeFoor under the bus were Council President Ron Salem, Randy White, Terrance Freeman, Kevin Carrico, Chris Miller, Raul Arias, Nick Howland and Will Lahnen.
Earlier, former Republican councilman Al Ferraro also withdrew his name from consideration as Deegan’s chief of neighborhoods, also for lack of support from his own party.
This is shameful. There was no question about DeFoor’s qualifications or integrity. But she was not blessed by the GOP Establishment, which insiders say now belongs to political consultant Tim Baker.
If so-called Republicans on the council cannot unite to support a well-qualified Republican on an appointment in a Democrat administration, what will unite them?
Longtime Council Member Matt Carlucci said he can’t remember being as disappointed with a council action. “It’s certainly not going to win a Profile in Courage award,” he told Eye on Jacksonville.