JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's a different playing field in the upcoming race for Jacksonville mayor as the top candidates are both trying to win over Democratic voters.
Former Mayor Tommy Hazouri, a Democrat who served from 1987-1991, placed his support behind Mayor Lenny Curry in the 2019 race, appearing in a television advertisement.
"Lenny Curry crosses the aisle. He brings us together to tackle the big issues. He puts people over politics, and he's working to build an even better Jacksonville," Hazouri is heard saying in the ad.
News4Jax Political Analyst Rick Mullaney was a mayor candidate eight years ago. Pointing out that the two leading candidates, Curry and City Council member Anna Brosche, are both Republicans.
Mullaney said the ad featuring Hazouri clearly courts Democrats.
"That's why I think the Hazouri ad makes a lot of sense for the Curry campaign," Mullaney said. "For Anna Brosche to be effective, she's got to raise some money. She's got to get the word out. But for her to win this election, for her to be competitive, she's going to have to be competitive with Democrats."
News4Jax confirmed with Brosche's campaign that she has hired Scott Arceneaux has a campaign consultant. He's the former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party.
When asked for comment on the ad featuring Hazouri, Brosche's campaign pointed to a tweet from Chairman Daniel Henry of the Duval County Democrats. It reads:
Just for the record - the majority of Duval Democrats DON’T believe @lennycurry is:— Daniel Henry 🗳 (@dan636) February 1, 2019
1. A Strong Leader
2. Has brought us together
3. Crosses the aisle
4. Puts people before politics #jaxpol #ilovejax #TakeJaxBack https://t.co/H8alYOVXyR
Mullaney pointed out that appearing in the advertisement also gives Hazouri some extra exposure as he runs for reelection to Jacksonville City Council.