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Councilwoman assaulted outside early voting site

Early voting in Jacksonville's March 24 election continues for two weeks

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two weeks of early voting for mayor, sheriff, supervisor of elections and more than a dozen City Council seats began Monday. While the first day of voting was smooth overall, there were a couple of glitches, including a reported assault on City Councilwoman Kimberly Daniels.

Police were called to Highlands Regional Library on Dunn Avenue -- one of 18 early-voting sites -- after a dispute between Daniels and campaign workers for other campaigns.

All witnesses agree there was a dispute and claims of cursing and threats on both sides. Daniels said that Theoffers Wakefield, the brother of a candidate in another City Council district, tried to hit her in the face with his fist as she sat in her car, but she blocked it with her arm.

Wakefield told officers he admitted to trying to intimidate Daniels into leaving his sister alone, but denied hitting her.

"I don't hit women," he told officers, according to the police report.

No one was arrested at the scene, but officers told Daniels they would seek an arrest warrant for Wakefield.

Daniels has three opponents in her bid for a second term as councilwoman for City Council At-Large Group 1. Daniels' spokesman confirmed she was assaulted but would not answer any other questions, except to say they were letting JSO handle the investigation.  

Despite the incident, Highlands Library reported the most votes during the first day of early voting -- 282 of the 2,932 ballots cast on Monday.

In a second, minor glitch on the first day of voting, Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said ballots had to be manually printed and filled out for about an hour Monday morning at the Westconnett Library, but no voters were turned away.

Complete Jacksonville voter's guide

Early voting continues through Sunday, March 22, two days before Election Day. Registered voters can vote at any early voting location, regardless of their designated precinct.