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1st endorsement of sheriff's runoff

Ken Jefferson, Mike Williams have 8 weeks until 2nd Jacksonville election

Ken Jefferson and Mike Williams appear on The Morning Show.
Ken Jefferson and Mike Williams appear on The Morning Show.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Voters narrowed the seven-man field of candidates for sheriff to two: Ken Jefferson and Mike Williams. As the two former officers begin their runoff campaign, the first of the eliminated candidates makes his choice known.

Lonnie McDonald, who drew only 2 percent of the vote in Tuesday's city election, released a statement endorsing Williams.

"Mike Williams will be a great sheriff for Jacksonville and he has my full support," McDonald wrote.

Williams, who retired as director of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office after 23 years with the department, drew 22 percent of the vote Tuesday, 14 points behind Jefferson, who is also a retired JSO officer.

Both men started their day with appearances on The Morning Show.

FULL INTERVIEWS:  Ken Jefferson | Mike Williams

Williams was out early Wednesday starting on the second phase of his campaign.

"I think we've got an opportunity now, with only two guys in the race, a better opportunity to get that message out and have more people hear the message," Williams said. "We are starting to work on that today."

Jefferson was also speaking on the first day of his campaign for the May 19 second election, making sure people knew about his plan to reduce violent crime.

"People will be able to see the two candidates, listen to us, look at the vision, look at the plan and make the decisions from there," Jefferson said.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said that both men will have to show the community they have a plan to cut down crime.

"I think Ken comes off as more relatable to the community. People know him better," Smith said. "People didn't know who Mike Williams was prior to running for sheriff. Mike is working really hard to introduce himself and to let people know who he is and what he brings to the table."

Since both men say endorsements are important, News4Jax is asking the four other candidates eliminated Tuesday night if they plan to support either Jefferson or Williams. News4Jax will let you know if, when they make announcements.

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