Brown, Curry advance to runoff for mayor
33% of Jacksonville voters cast ballots in Jacksonville election
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Alvin Brown got the most votes, but Republican challenger Lenny Curry forced the incumbent into a runoff in May to see who will be mayor of Jacksonville for the next four years.
With all the votes counted Tuesday night, Brown had 7,726 more votes: 43 percent to Curry's 38 percent. City Councilman Bill Bishop came in third with 17 percent and independent Omega Allen drew 2 percent of the vote.
To avoid a runoff, one candidate needed to reach 50 percent, plus 1 vote.
Just after 9 p.m., the two candidates moving on spoke to their supporters.
"As mayor, I made a promise that I wouldn't raise your taxes and I oppose all tax increases, and I kept that promise," Brown said. "Now let's go out and win this race for Jacksonville."
"When I started this campaign, most folks said I shouldn't do it," Curry said. "'Popular mayor, incumbent, hard to beat an incumbent, don't put yourself out there.' I did it., We did it. Here's what we found out: People are ready for a new mayor."
Bishop called his campaign, "The ultimate roller coaster ride ... an experience of a lifetime."
Asked if he would endorse one either candidate in the runoff, Bishop said, "We are just going to evaluate all our options and we'll have a statement on that sometime later this week."
Both candidates said they'll begin their campaigns for the May 19 runoff first thing Wednesday, and observers said it could be a bruising battle.
"It's going to be an expensive race," said UNF political science professor Michael Binder. "There's more money yet to spent. Both candidates have money in the bank and more will be coming in."
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