Candidates making last push for votes


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Today is the final day of early voting before Tuesday's elections for Jacksonville mayor, sheriff, supervisor of elections and dozens of City Council seats. Candidates are spending the final weekend before the election pitching for last-minute votes.

Early voting totals have increased through the week, surpassing 5,000 per day on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday is expected to be every busier. Elections officials say 76,700 votes were cast by Saturday night, either by mail-in ballots or early voting. That's just shy of 14 percent of registered voters in Duval County, and outgoing Supervisor of Elections Jerry Howard is hopeful turnout will surpass 30 percent by the time the polls closed Tuesday.

On Saturday, the incumbent Mayor Alvin Brown helped clean up the St. Johns River along the Northbank. He made a pitch for his campaign.

"Jacksonville's headed in right direction -- 36,000 new jobs," said Brown. "We're the No. 1 city in the country if you want to start a business. I want their vote. Go vote for Alvin Brown. Let's keep Jacksonville beautiful."

City Councilman Bill Bishop was out among supporters as well. He made an appearance downtown at Gastrofest at Hemming Plaza. On Sunday, he will meet with supporters at the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church. He'll also visit the Burro Bar and Burrito Gallery on Adams. Street, and then head to Incahoots on Edison Avenue.

Republican Lenny Curry, who has been actively campaigning since last summer, met with supporters and volunteers Saturday.

"We're feeling good, we're doing what we've been doing for months now getting out face-to-face with the voters getting the message out," said Curry. "Conservative values conservative principles work and continuing that conversation face-to-face."

Omega Allen attended the Bob Hayes Invitational track meet in Jacksonville. The underdog independent candidate keeps telling people to bet on her and win big.

"I feel like I've got more than a chance to win it big," said Allen. "Undecided voters, please give me your support. Don't be afraid to give me your vote. If you support me, I not only can but I will win, and when I win, you win."

Early voting continues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at 18 locations around Jacksonville, then all precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. To learn more about the candidates and issues on the ballot or to find out where you can vote, visit the News4Jax Jacksonville Voter's Guide.