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Primary results: Duval School Board, City Council, Clerk of Courts

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In the race for the Duval County School Board, four of the seven seats on the board were up for election in 2020.

All of these races are non-partisan, so they were open to all voters in each district. If there are more than two candidates and no one received more than 50% of votes, the top two candidates will be on the ballot in November.

District 1 includes Arlington and parts of the Northside around Oceanway. Cheryl Grymes has represented the district for two terms, meaning she can’t run again. It was an open seat.

Kelly Coker a fourth generation Jacksonville native and retired educator won the seat with 73% of the vote. Teacher Kory Von Leue got 18% of the vote and Lew Welge, who retired after 18 years as a public schools guidance counselor, got 9%.

District 3 includes San Marco and parts of the Southside. This was also an open seat because Ashley Smith Juarez has already served two terms.

Cindy Pearson, who describes herself as a volunteer mother of three and fundraiser to support Duval schools the last eight years won the race with 56% of the vote. Athletic coach James Jacobs got 18%. Chris Guerrieri, a teacher, received 15%. Lifelong educator Robert Abene received 10% of the vote.

District 5 includes parts of Northwest Jacksonville and the Westside.

Incumbent Warren Jones easily won re-election with 61% of the vote over Brenda Ann Jordan who got 39% of the vote.

In District 7, covering Mandarin and Baymeadows, Lori Hershey won a second term with 51% of the vote. She faced business owner Matt Schellenberg, a former City Council member, who got 37% of the vote and John Turner, who lists his occupation as retired from the U.S. Navy, got 12%.

Duval County Clerk of Courts

It was an open seat for 2020 in the Republican primary race for Duval County Clerk of Court.

There were three candidates in the race. Jody Phillips, who’s the chief operating officer for the the Clerk of Courts, won with 58% of the vote. Next was City Council member Scott Wilson, who got 31% of the vote, followed by Leon Jackson, who has been manager of the Clerk of Courts since 2005. Jackson received 11% of the vote.

Phillips will face Democrat, local attorney and Jacksonville native Jimmy Midyette in November.

Jacksonville City Council

While Jacksonville’s City Council elections were held last year, there was a special election for District 4 in 2020 because Councilman Scott Wilson is leaving the office, so that he could run for Clerk of Court.

The district covers most of the Southside, and like the regular city elections, Republicans and Democrats all appear on the same ballot.

It was a three-way race with two Republicans, the vice president of operations for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida Kevin Carrico and local businessman Don Redman, who has previously served on the City Council for eight years. There’s also a Democrat, 27-year-old Nicole Hamm, who says she works in accounting for the private sector.

Hamm received 43% of the vote, Carrico received 34% and Redman received 23%. Since no one got more than 50%, Hamm and Carrico will be heading to the general election in November.

Voter turnout

More Florida voters chose to vote by mail for this primary, most likely because of safety concerns around the coronavirus pandemic.

But the overall turnout for this election still wasn’t that high in most counties. Here’s a breakdown of some of the local counties:

  • Duval: 25.2%
  • Clay: 32.9%
  • St. Johns: 29.2%
  • Nassau: 37.7%