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Voters overwhelmed with options in sheriff's race

Hob Nob event gives voters chance to meet and greet candidates

The seven candidates for Jacksonville sheriff in 2015 are: (top row, from left) Tony Cummings, Jay Farhat, Jimmy Holderfield,Ken Jefferson, (bottom row, from left) Lonnie McDonald, Rob Schoonover and Mike Williams.
The seven candidates for Jacksonville sheriff in 2015 are: (top row, from left) Tony Cummings, Jay Farhat, Jimmy Holderfield,Ken Jefferson, (bottom row, from left) Lonnie McDonald, Rob Schoonover and Mike Williams.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Seven people want to be Jacksonville's next sheriff, and that large candidate pool is making it difficult for voters to decide who to pick.

At EverBank Field on Thursday night, voters got the chance to rub elbows with the candidates at WOKV's Hob Nob event.

"It's a little bit difficult to follow them all, so what I try to do is each week go learn more about each candidate," Layla Hassan said. "This was very beneficial because I got to go meet each candidate and find out what they're all about."

Many voters showed up at the stadium hoping to learn something about candidates like Jay Farhat, Tony Cummings, Lonnie McDonald or Rob Schoonover.

"There's so many of them, you need to come down and see who you like and what they stand for, because there's a whole list of these guys and a lot of them are very qualified," Herb Brown said.

A new poll released by the University of North Florida on Thursday shows all the sheriff candidates are losing to essentially "undecided" or "I don't know," which came in with 34 percent in the poll.

Of the candidates, Ken Jefferson was ahead in the poll with 24 percent, followed by Mike Williams at 16 percent and Jimmy Holderfield at 10 percent. All others were in single digits.

"I had to ask a couple of times about the candidate for sheriff. I wasn't familiar with them," Danielle Steven said. "This is a good thing to come out to."

In these final weeks, it will be up to these candidates to get their names out there as best they can, hoping to capture the attention of those voters who are either undecided or simply have no idea who these seven are.

"It's kind of hard because unless you're a police officer, Ken Jefferson was the public affairs officer, so a lot of people know him, but nobody knows any of these other officers," Charles Wilson said. "So you just kind of have to do the background."


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