Voters elect 7 new council members

Duval County election supervisor reports 36.9 percent turnout

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Just over 201,000 Jacksonville voters turned out on Tuesday or over the past two weeks to not only elect a new mayor and sheriff, but seven new council members.

In the process, voters elected a former mayor to a City Council seat and defeated a sitting council woman.

Voters also overwhelming passed two charter amendments that will add a review process for general counsel and add a chief administrative officer and chief financial officer to the mayor's office.

In At-Large Group 1, challenger Anna Lopez Brosche, a Republican, defeated incumbent Democrat Kimberly Daniels by a margin of 56-44 percent.

Tommy Hazouri, a Democrat who served in the Florida House for 12 years before being mayor of Jacksonville from 1987 to 1991 and school board member from 2004 to 2012, was elected to City County's At-Large Group 3 seat with 55 percent of the vote over Republian Geoff Youngblood.

In a third At-Large seat - Group 5 - Republican Samuel Newby defeated Democrat Ju'Coby Pittman by a 2 percent margin..

In individual district council seats:

  • Democrat Joyce Morgan won the District 1 seat over Republican Mike Anania by 52-48 percent.
  • Republican Al Ferraro won District 2 over Democrat Lisa King by 58-42 percent.
  • Republican Scott Wilson won District 4 over Democrat Ramon Day by 63-36 percent
  • Democrat Reggie Gaffney defeated Democrat George Spencer in District 7 by 2 percent.
  • Democrat Katrina Brown won District 8 over former councilwoman Pat Lockett-Felder, also a Democrat, by a margin of more than 3 percent.

The seven City Council members elected Tuesday were in addition to four other new members elected in the March primary.

"This is going to be a nonpartisan city council and mayor, as far as I'm concerned," Hazouris said. "There's no Republican or Democrat potholes. We are moving on. We've got a lot of issues to deal with and I'm looking forward to rolling up my sleeves up and working night and day."

Outgoing Supervisor Jerry Holland had called for a 40 percent turnout based on interest in the races from early voting,, but when all the votes were counted, only 36.9 percent of registered voters had cast ballots -- almost the same turnout as in the city election four years ago.

"We had such good numbers on our early voting and absentee, it just seems like the momentum peaked too early," Holland said.

News4Jax political analyst Jennifer Carroll said the nasty weather that rolled in through the afternoon could have impacted turnout, and, ultimately, the outcome in close races. 

"It will impact the race for one of the candidates for sure based on who has been successful in getting their voters out to the polls early," Carroll said. "When you have weather as we're about to have thunderstorms, etc., that would preclude people from going last-minute to the polls to vote."

This was Holland's last election in this position as he had hit his term as election supervisor, but he's not leaving government service. He was elected without opposition as the city's new property appraiser.

"It's really just hitting me know," Holland said. "Because you get so intense during Election Day, so as you wrap it up it's kind of sad."