Candidates for sheriff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.Each candidates' party affiliation is listed on the ballot, but Jacksonville holds unitary elections, so Duval County registered voters of any party can vote for any candidate.

Candidates for sheriff of Jacksonville

News4Jax asks each candidate for office a uniform set of questions hoping to get beyond campaign statements or media filters to help voters decide which candidate they will support. Below are the candidates' verbatim responses.

Tony CummingsTony Cummings

Party affiliation: Democratic Party

Age: 48

Candidate's family: Wife: Dr. Andrea Cummings and daughter Kyra and Eleana Cummings

Occupation: Retired Law Enforcement

Education: Doctoral Degree

Political experience: Ran in 2015 Sheriff's Race

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

a.) Reduce Violent Crime
b.) Control Out-of-Control Spending Inside the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
c.) Restore The Public's Trust in the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Through Transparency and Accountability

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?
a.) I am a native of Jacksonville who loves this city first and foremost. It's Home!
b.) I have spent the past 28-years proudly serving the citizens of Jacksonville as a military and civilian law enforcement officer.
c.) I grew up in many of the high crime areas of Jacksonville and understand the violent crime problem.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?
Driving down violent crime and help to make our city a safer place to raise a family.

Campaign website: www.tonycummingsforsheriff.com
Social media: Facebook

Mike WilliamsMike Williams

Party affiliation: Republican

Age: 50

Candidate's family: Wife, Jodi & 3 sons, Zach, Jacob and Luke

Occupation: Sheriff - Duval County, Florida

Education: Bachelor's Degree

Political experience: Currently serving in the office of which I seek. Completing a 4-year term. Elected in 2015.

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

Working to Reduce Violent Crime
In the last four years, I have forged a new relationship with the Mayor and City Council resulting in hiring and placing more police officers on our streets. I have also broadened recruitment standards and value the service of military veterans.

Engage the Community
I know the JSO succeeds when officers listen to the neighborhoods they serve with the goal of forming true community partnerships. This is of primary importance in my command and will be taught and practiced by everyone in the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO).

Use Resources Efficiently
I understand crime is linked to leveraging technology. Under my leadership, the JSO has streamlined and toughened policies that position officers to work smarter and produce better outcomes on the street.

Training and Reorganization
I addressed societal and generational changes by expanding training and enhancing transparency, accountability, and discipline. The success of the JSO includes the reorganization of the agency, realigning supervision, efficiency, and effectiveness

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?
From my very first day as Sheriff in July of 2015, I set priorities and have been relentless in leading the agency to achieve them. Staying the course in this important work is my unwavering commitment to the community I am so proud to serve. I plan to continue to innovate, as I lead the fight against crime and strengthens police-citizen relationships in every neighborhood in Jacksonville.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?
The people of Jacksonville have supported the strides made to return the JSO to the world-class agency it should be. Together as a community, we have invested in officers, equipment and technology that match the demand for results. It is my hope that the legacy of my administration will be in evident in the key priorities we have all worked hard to move the needle on. However, our work is not done. The commitment to make Jacksonville an even safer city goes beyond one Sheriff, one City Council and one Mayor. As a city, we all need to demand that we stay focused on improving the public's trust in the JSO by building upon my demand for enhanced transparency. I hope we will continue to broaden cultural awareness, highlight the use of diversion programs, and increase mental health and special needs awareness among all officers. Most of all, I believe that the strong relationships forged during my administration have been built on a shared vision that will endure for generations to come.

Campaign website: SheriffMikeWilliams.com
Social media: Facebook | Twitter

Early voting runs from March 4 through 17 at more than a dozen locations, with all Duval County precincts open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 19. Vote-by-mail ballots are available from the Supervisor of Elections Office and must be returned by 7 p.m. March 19.