Paperwork error to result in special election

Rep. Reggie Fullwood, D-Jacksonville.
Rep. Reggie Fullwood, D-Jacksonville. (MyFloridaHouse.gov)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – No one qualified to run against incumbent state Rep. Reggie Fullwood, but after problems were found in his qualifying papers, the state must hold a special election to fill House District 13.

Fullwood, 39, was elected in 2010 to the district that covers the the heart of Jacksonville, part of northwest Jacksonville and parts of Arlington and San Marco. He was expected to coast into a third term, but now he may have a formidable opponent: Jacksonville City Council member Johnny Gaffney.

Gaffney, 43, whose term on council expires next summer, had filed to run for the House seat in 2016, but is now considering a run in the special election.

"This is the next level," Gaffney told our news partner, the Financial News and Daily Record. "It gives me another opportunity to build on what I've started here."

Gaffney (pictured below) told the Record he has always been supportive of Fullwood and considers him a friend.


The date of the special election has not been set and will be determined by Gov. Rick Scott.  Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said the primary for the special election will likely be on the Nov. 4 ballot. A runoff, if necessary, would be in December.

Because the election for City Council is within six months of when Gaffney's resignation would take effect, the seat would not need to be filled in a special election, Holland said. The first city election is March 24, with the second being May 19.