Candidates make final push in city election

Early voting continues over weekend; Election Day is Tuesday


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville is just days from selecting new city leaders, and it's hard not to notice the campaigns that are out in force. TV ads, sign wavers and the candidates themselves are hitting voters from all directions.

Turnout for the local election is expected to be low, between 30 and 35 percent, although that's higher than the last municipal election.

Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland wants voters to know this election is key for a number of reasons. 

"I think what is really important is a lot of people think this is a primary. It is not. It's a general election," Holland said. "We have 19 races on the ballot. Seven will be decided in the March election. One is the supervisor of elections, which has two candidates, and the other six are city council races."

Early voting sites will be open again Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The early voting sites have been busy, particularly following the mayor and sheriff candidate debates this week.

Traditionally, there's a big push for early voting on the last weekend before the election. Travis Cox voted Friday and said the debates helped him make some decisions.

"I think there is a lot of important things going on in our city right now," Cox said. "A lot of important elections going on, so it's very important to vote -- for all citizens to get out and vote."

Don Edgecombe hopes those votes go to re-elect Mayor Alvin Brown. He was out waving signs Friday.

"I enjoy it. I volunteer from the heart," Edgecombe said. "It's something I enjoy doing, not only for the community at large, but it's gratifying."

Brown campaigned Friday after beginning the day with a Renew Jacksonville event that focused on revitalizing city neighborhoods.

Brown's challengers have all been busy as well.

Republican Lenny Curry worked the phones at his campaign office Friday.

"(I'm) doing exactly what I've been doing the course of this entire campaign," Curry said. "That's getting out and talking to voters one on one, going knocking on their doors, making phone calls and having one-on-one conversations -- sharing my vision and listening to what's going on in their lives."

Independent Omega Allen attended the Bob Hayes track event at Raines High School.

"I'm doing the same thing that I've been doing all along," Allen said. "I'm out with the people, talking to people, getting the opinions of people and the desires of the people of Jacksonville. After all, I want to be the people's mayor."

City Councilman Bill Bishop attended forums and worked to get his name out there.

"We are just going to be doing everything we've been doing only more so," Bishop said of his plans for the weekend. "We've got whole crews of people out walking neighborhoods this weekend. Crews of people are going to be waving signs at high traffic intersections. We've got an event we're working on Sunday to have a big party and bring people to early voting before early voting closes on Sunday. Just more of everything that we've been doing."

And it's not just candidates for mayor. The seven candidates for sheriff also had another forum Friday to get their points across. Numerous city council hopefuls and their supporters were out and about working to get votes.

Polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday. 

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