Voters get to know candidates for mayor

Candidates meet, greet voters at Hob Nob event; many voters undecided

The candidates for Jacksonville mayor in 2015 are (from left) Omega Allen, Bill Bishop, Alvin Brown and Lenny Curry.
The candidates for Jacksonville mayor in 2015 are (from left) Omega Allen, Bill Bishop, Alvin Brown and Lenny Curry.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new poll out shows Mayor Alvin Brown is leading his closest competitor, Republican Lenny Curry, in the race for Jacksonville mayor.

But a lot can change before Election Day.

The poll from the University of North Florida shows there are a lot of undecided voters, and many others who say they don't know much about the candidates.

Voters had a chance to get to know the candidates Thursday during WOKV's Hob Nob event.

The goal for Brown is to convince voters he's a strong leader. For the other candidates it's more about getting the public to know them.

The UNF poll had Brown leading the race with 37 percent. And it's a tie for second between Curry -- and "I don't know."

Those undecided voters are the ones that candidates like Curry and City Councilman Bill Bishop -- who was a distant third at 11 percent -- hope they can convince to join their camps.

"I know Bishop real well. I don't know Lenny Curry at all, and I'm not happy with the current administration," voter Bill Clark said. "I liked Mayor Brown when I voted last time, but not this time."

"My neighbors probably know about Mayor Alvin Brown and that's probably it. I didn't know who Lenny Curry was," Danielle Steven said.

As far as what voters know about the candidates, it's not looking good for Curry, Bishop or Omega Allen, the businesswoman only polling at 2 percent.

The poll showed a lot of unfamiliarity with the candidates. For Curry, 63 percent didn't answer the question of whether he was a strong leader.

And for Bishop, when asked about what he believes ideologically 66 percent didn't answer.

That means these candidates have a lot of work to do to get voters interested in choosing them as mayor.

"Basically, your public doesn't read that much politics," John Malinka said. "They'd rather watch TV or watch you on TV."

Brown has by far the highest name recognition with voters. The poll showed split results for him with 44 percent thinking he's a strong leader and 41 percent thinking he's not.

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