9 city races decided in first election
Voter turnout surpasses 33%; mayor, sheriff, other races head to runoff
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nine Duval County races were decided Tuesday in the first election, but 10 others are headed to May runoffs.
Seven races were decided because only two candidates were vying for a position.
Republican Mike Hogan will be Duval County's new supervisor of elections. He had 55 percent of the vote, beating out the current deputy supervisor of elections, Tracie Davis.
Hogan, who served in City Council, the Florida Legislature and as tax collector, said this was the hardest campaign of his political career.
"This race is more difficult just to raise money," Hogan said. "The people that gave to us, they loved us. I can't give jobs away, I don't set policy and I don't have a vote. This is humbling." [Watch full interview with Mike Hogan]
Greg Anderson (At-Large Group 4), Aaron Bowman (District 3), Matt Schellenberg (District 6), Garrett Dennis (District 9), Doyle Carter (District 12) and Jim Love (District 14) earned City Council seats.
Councilmen John Crescimbeni and Reginald "Reggie" Brown each earned another term in races with more than two candidates.
Crescimbeni had 53 percent of the vote, defeating opponents David Barron (30 percent) and Theresa Graham (18 percent) in At-Large Group 2.
Reggie Brown had 67 percent, finishing ahead of challengers Celestine Mills (19 percent) and Joseph Willis (14 percent) in City Council District 10.
All the other races will go to a runoff May 19 between the top two vote-getters on Tuesday. To avoid a runoff, one candidate needed to have 50 percent of the vote, plus 1.
In the mayor's race, Mayor Alvin Brown and Republican challenger Lenny Curry are headed to a runoff. Brown had 43 percent of the vote, and Curry had 38 percent.
The top sheriff candidates of seven vying for the job were Ken Jefferson (37 percent), Mike Williams (22 percent) and Jimmy Holderfield (20 percent). That sends Jefferson and Williams to a runoff.
Eight other city council races are headed to runoffs:
- At-Large Group 1: Incumbent Kimberly Daniels vs. Anna Brosche
- At-Large Group 3: Tommy Hazouri vs. Geoff Youngblood
- At-Large Group 5: Ju'Coby Pittman vs. Samuel Newby
- District 1: Joyce Morgan vs. Mike Anania
- District 2: Lisa King vs. Al Ferraro
- District 4: Scott Wilson vs. Ramon Day
- District 7: Reggie Gaffney vs. George Spencer Jr.
- District 8: Katrina Brown vs. Pat Lockett-Felder
Voters also decided on two ballot questions Tuesday.
A majority of voters want city employees hired after Jan. 1, 2016, to have to live in Duval County. The straw ballot question on that issue got 64 percent approval.
Voters also want to give more power to the inspector general to oversee the city's independent agencies. The ballot referendum on that issue had 55 percent approval.
Voter turnout at 33.6%
More than 92,000 ballots were cast Tuesday; add that to 87,150 cast before Election Day, and turnout reached just over 33 percent.
Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland had predicted between a 30 to 35 percent turnout. Despite being fairly accurate in his prediction, Holland said he was disappointed in Tuesday's final turnout.
"Local elections are so important and impact the lives of the people of Jacksonville," Holland said. "Turnout for municipal elections is less than 40 percent."
He's hoping for better in May for the runoffs.
"I think the excitement builds knowing that this is the election that's going to decide so much," Holland said. "I think we're going to have a good turnout in the next election. I'm calling to exceed the turnout from the previous election four years ago -- calling for 40 percent turnout in our next election."
Holland, who is term limited, said Election Day went fairly well.
"Amazing enough (it's) probably one of our smoothest elections," Holland said. "It was very comforting to have such a successful election today."
Not everything went smoothly for everyone, though.
Voter Jim Johns told News4Jax he arrived at his precinct at 6:59 p.m. but was turned away and did not get to vote. He said he was told poll workers have to go by the city clock, which showed a couple of minutes after 7.
"You wouldn't want to check my blood pressure right now," Johns said. "I drove from Downtown. I really think voting is important, but I couldn't get away from my work any sooner, so it's very disappointing."
Johns said next time, he's going to vote early.
"There are plenty of opportunities," Johns said. "It's a privilege (to vote), and we need to exercise it."
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