There are 655,396 people registered to vote in Duval County. Yet only 168,256 bothered to vote in the first city election – 25.66 percent.
That’s bad enough. But of those who voted for mayor, 66,160 chose a liberal Democrat.
This is despite the fact that Republicans had a larger turnout than Democrats, even though Democrats slightly outnumber Republicans. Obviously, independents have a loud voice and lean left.
An astounding fact about the low turnout: one candidate claimed a council seat with 5,879 votes. There are about 46,800 voters in each district.
Jacksonville never has had a liberal Democrat unless you count the late Tommy Hazouri, chief proponent of the “human rights” ordinance – and he endorsed a Republican over a Democrat in one mayoral race.
Other Democrats since consolidation were Jake Godbold and Alvin Brown. Godbold was a populist and not averse to raising taxes. Brown got Republican Establishment support but was dropped by them when he didn’t go with their program.
Contrary to the claims of a leftwing writer for a tiny local newspaper, “big money” is not the issue in the runoff. Although libs fixate on money, it isn’t always the reason candidates win. Hillary Clinton spent an enormous $1.2 billion in 2016 and was whupped by Donald Trump, who spent half that amount.
In a local mayor’s race, money enables disgusting negative advertising but name recognition is key, especially to the low-information voter.
Donna Deegan has it. Daniel Davis has it. They will be in the runoff for mayor.
Deegan is the liberal Democrat, known for having her face on TV for years and fundraising for cancer. She also periodically runs for political office.
Daniel Davis, who smothered his Republican challengers after brutally attacking them in his campaign, has been in politics more than 20 years as a City Council member and legislator. He also heads the Chamber of Commerce.
Republicans had to split their vote among four candidates. Still, the Republican votes totaled more than the non-Republican votes in the mayor’s race. That offers hope to conservatives that Deegan will fail in the runoff.
In the race for property appraiser, Democrat Joyce Morgan led but will face Republican Jason Fischer in the runoff.
In City Council at-large races, incumbent Republican Terrance Freeman retained his seat, along with Republican Ron Salem. In an open seat, Republican Christ Miller led a field of six candidates and will be in a runoff with Democrat Charles Garrison.
Winning outright in district council races were Republicans Ken Amaro, Will Lahnen, and Joe Carlucci, plus incumbents Michael Boylan, Rando White and Rory Diamond.
District 14 saw an interesting matchup between two former council members, Republicans John Draper and Alberta Hipps. Both were outpolled by Democrat Rahman Johnson, but Draper made the runoff. The district had been reconfigured by the courts to be more favorable to Democrats.
There will be runoffs between Republicans Lindsey Brock and Mike Gay in District 2, Democrat Jimmy Peluso and Republican Joseph Hogan in District 7, Democrats Reggie Gaffney Jr. (an incumbent who was moved into a different district) and Tameka Gaines Holly in District 8, Republican Mike Muldoon and incumbent Democrat Tyrona Clark-Murray in District 9, and Democrat Ramon Day and Republican Raul Arias in District 11.
With the clear and present danger of a liberal Democrat becoming mayor, conservatives are hoping Republicans will unite, turn out and hold the mayor’s office, even if Davis is not as conservative as they might hope.
If there’s one thing that can be said about Davis it is that he is not Lenny Curry. He also has far more experience, credibility and knowledge of the issues than Deegan, who is hopelessly out of her depth and will have to rely on such bromides as “glass ceilings” to win.