JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This week, all candidates who plan to run for city office need to file, and if you look closely, there are areas where many are putting their hat in the ring to run for City Council.
Among the four council districts that run across Jacksonville’s north side and inner core, there are 29 candidates so far who have filed to run. Street violence and federal indictments are cited as two reasons for that.
These are the races in which a lot of candidates filed on the supervisor of elections website. And it pretty much encompasses the north side, with districts 7, 8 and 10. Violence and crime in those districts have been real issues, particularly in District 7, which encompasses the A Phillip Randolph corridor, where we’ve seen a steady stream of violence.
News4jax political analyst Rick Mullaney said he isn’t surprised there are so many candidates.
“Let’s face it — public safety and crime is a big issue countywide, but particularly in those districts it is,” Mullaney said. “I think the people in those communities are particularly concerned about crime."
Mullaney said criminal justice and sentencing guidelines will also be important on the north side, but there is another political opening — specifically in districts 8 and 10. There’s a power vacuum, after former council members Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown were indicted on federal fraud charges.
News4Jax spoke with Brown at her latest hearing Thursday. She said she hasn’t ruled out running for her old seat. But her alleged crime isn’t what voters will focus on. It will be crime in their neighborhoods.
“They’re going to be talking at all their town meetings, door to door, about crime,” Mullaney said. “I do believe that. I believe crime is the No. 1 issue."
The other council district with a lot of candidates filed is district 14 in Riverside, which has been represented by Jim Love, who will be term limited out.
The campaign deadline is Friday.