At the last minute, City Council Member Anna Lopez Brosche filed to run against Mayor Lenny Curry, setting up an interesting race to be decided in this spring.
Just by mentioning she might run and criticizing Curry recently, Brosche had unleashed Curry’s attack dogs, who hit her with a series of blistering, and mostly misleading, TV ads.
Just based on that reaction it seems like this will be a contest that could see new levels of mud-slinging.
Brosche says Curry just hasn’t gotten the job done. Especially on crime.
Curry criticized former Mayor Alvin Brown about the murder rate in Jacksonville when he was running for the office but since Curry took office the number of murders has increased, Brosche says.
She also will hit Curry on transparency – keeping citizens informed and providing access.
Both could be troublesome.
Although the crime rate for all major crimes has declined steeply over the past 10 years Brosche says murders have been increasing and there are more murders in Jacksonville than in Brooklyn.
She also says that polls show local residents view crime as a serious problem. Since perception is more important in politics than facts, she may be right that it is an issue candidates should address.
Brosche promises to pursue a different approach to crime, and to increase transparency.
She has a bill pending in the City Council that seeks to increase transparency, but there are things the mayor can control that the council cannot change.
A potential problem for Brosche is that some local Republicans don’t believe she is conservative enough. Her vote for the human rights ordinance is one example they cite.
However, Curry has not exactly won over the hearts and minds of the conservative population, either, despite having tacked the knotty problem of police pensions, so the level of conservatism may not be a deciding factor.
But one of the two candidates probably will win. There are eight other candidates, including some Democrats and no-party people but none seem likely to be contenders.
It will be interesting to watch.