City Council District 14

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.Each of the city's 14 districts is represented by its own council member elected by voters in that district. Each candidates' party affiliation is listed on the ballot, but the city holds unitary elections, so Duval County registered voters of any party can vote for any candidate. 

With five candidates running in the March election to fill the seat of Jim Love, who is completing his second term and cannot run for re-election, no one reached the 50% threshold to be elected. The two with the most votes in the first round will face off again in May.

This district starts in Riverside and runs south along the west bank of the St. Johns River to the Clay County line, then west to Oakleaf.

Candidates for Jacksonville City Council District 14

WATCH: Kent Justice interviews Randy DeFoor and Sunny Gettinger

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.

Randy DeFoor Randy DeFoor

Party affiliation: Republican

Age: 55

Candidate's family: Spouse: J. Allison DeFoor. 3 biological children, 3 step children and 2 grandchildren

Occupation: Senior Vice President and National Agency Counsel, Fidelity National Financial

Education: Bachelor's Degree, The University of the South; Juris Doctorate, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University

Political experience: None other than appointments to FSCJ Board, JIA CRA and formally the JEDC

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

Public Safety, Workforce Development and Infrastructure

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?
Through growing up in the community and in my career, I have a wide range of experience and expertise that will serve our district well.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?
I am not seeking this office to be remembered, but to serve a community I love. My goal is to work diligently for our community to insure Jacksonville thrives so that our children have opportunities to be able to come home to beautiful and safe neighborhoods and well paying jobs.

Campaign website: randydefoor.com
Social media: Facebook

Sunny Gettinger Sunny Gettinger

Party affiliation: Democrat

Age: 41

Candidate's family: Trey (spouse), Cort (7 yrs - 2nd Grader at West Riverside), Max (4 years), & Dobby (our mutt)

Occupation: Communications Manager

Education: Master's in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; BA, English, Yale University

Political experience: No previous runs for office

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

The three biggest issues facing our city are strengthening our neighborhoods, increasing public safety, and reducing poverty. 

First, we need to invest in our neighborhoods now to ensure we can meet future challenges and take advantage of opportunities. Improving our infrastructure attracts businesses and new jobs to Jacksonville while increasing our property values. The city also has a responsibility to invest in the infrastructure of our neighborhoods left behind after consolidation. This investment is in flood resiliency, streets, sidewalks, parks, schools, and underground utilities including fiber. This will encourage the necessary private investment to attract higher wage paying employers, retailers, supermarkets, banks, and other amenities that improve quality of life. 

Secondly, we need to be doing more to keep our families and neighborhoods safe. Our police officers, fire fighters, and rescue teams are our first line of defense for not just our physical safety, but in the welfare of our whole community. I want to make sure law enforcement and first responders have the resources they need to effectively patrol a county as large as Duval. From recruiting the best people to ensuring they have the best training to deal with the many different situations and issues they face each day, I will make sure our first responders are supported. We should all feel safe walking, biking, playing with our kids, enjoying our neighborhoods, and knowing that our justice system continues to work to treat each citizen fairly and with respect.

Finally, there is no magic wand to ending poverty in our city. We know that lifting people up includes community-based programs that improve public safety, adds jobs and increase wages, promotes private investment, provides better schools and after-school programs, and builds stronger families. The Jacksonville Journey was an excellent beginning and the city is already suffering from the political shortsightedness of defunding these programs. 

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?
My experiences in the technology industry and years spent serving our community inform my belief in the power of using data to make decisions. I've spent 12 years working for Google in communications, human resources, and most recently, Google Fiber. In my role as the Metro Expansion Lead for Google Fiber in Florida, I worked with the City of Jacksonville, JEA, and the City of Tampa to explore the potential of building a broadband network across both cities. These experiences gave me an understanding of where we are with our existing infrastructure and permitting process and an appreciation for the enormous opportunity we have to build a digitally inclusive city. As a mom to two kids, my volunteer time has primarily gone to organizations focused on education and community building, including the Early Learning Coalition of Duval, the West Riverside Elementary PTA, the Jewish Community Alliance, and 904ward, an organization that works to bring positive change on issues of race and diversity. I've also served as chair for both Riverside Arts Market and Riverside Avondale Preservation, recognizing the value of what makes our neighborhoods special and helping to find ways to preserve that while developing new projects to ensure we're continuing to invest in all of our neighborhoods.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?
My primary goals are improving infrastructure and the integrating data-based decision making into our public policy process. Jacksonville's infrastructure is inadequate to meet the challenges we face from a rising St. Johns River. We need to get our homes off septic tanks and install underground utilities to ensure that everyone can access high-speed internet. We have to address the vulnerabilities that recent storms showed us including the flooding issues in our streets (which can happen even with our big rainstorms). We must also reduce the risk of widespread power outages and the cost to repair them. I will make sure we are focused on our resiliency as a city and our ability to meet the challenges ahead. 
I believe in the power of data. Data is free of emotion, politics, and is key to informing us in making the right decisions for our city. We have big choices in front of us such as dredging our port and waterways, Downtown, smart development and all that goes with it — like traffic and parking. This also includes smaller issues, like how do we take care of our parks and roads. I will focus on understanding these issues and on finding solutions that address those problems rather than focusing on political wins. Putting our data to work for us will save taxpayers money and help us make the right decisions for the long-term future of our city.

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