Undecided voters weigh in on mayor's race

Some candidates struggling with name recognition as Election Day approaches

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the city approaches Election Day voters are paying closer attention to candidates for Jacksonville's next mayor.

Candidates are working hard, putting up signs and meeting and greeting voters. It's work that needs to be done, because some candidates are struggling with name recognition.

Mayoral candidate Lenny Curry was out meeting potential voters at a Jax Chamber "Meet the Candidates" event. He and the three other candidates for the job are hoping to sway undecided voters come Election Day.

"I think it's an important race, and I think the city of Jacksonville has great places to go," said undecided voter Michelle Branham. "We're doing well, but I think we could do better."

Current Mayor Alvin Brown and former state GOP Chair Lenny Curry have strong name recognition, but people News4Jax spoke to Wednesday said they didn't know much about City Councilman Bill Bishop or local business owner Omega Allen.

"I just don't know enough about either candidate," said undecided voter Brandon Beermann, who said he thought Brown and Curry were the only ones running.

That's why the candidates are trying to get their messages out. Some who still don't know which candidate they will vote for will likely make their decisions soon.

"Our current mayor's track record, there's some good, some bad," said undecided voter Princess Trinity. "There's a lot of weighing things out."

"If it was today, I would vote for Alvin Brown, because he's done all that stuff in Brooklyn," Beermann said. "I'm actually seeing a difference because before when it was (John) Peyton with the Better Jacksonville Plan, you never really see it being done."

"I think it's going to be a very interesting race, because we are now living in a city that's growing, and we need a mayor with a vision," said undecided voter Donna Williams, who said she doesn't think Brown is that candidate.

Voters also want to get an idea of how the candidates perform under pressure. Political ads can tell them that in one regard.

Curry has been running ads questioning Brown's record, while Brown has responded with ads saying Curry's a negative campaigner.

"I'm just following the issues, but I also like to see how candidates respond to things as it progresses," Branham said.

Voters will get a good indication Thursday about how the race is unfolding. The University of North Florida has just wrapped up a poll of local political races, including the mayor's race. The results will be out Thursday morning. Check back with News4Jax.com for a full report. 

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