JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With the power of incumbency and a huge fundraising advantage, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry was expected to easily outperform his three challengers in his re-election bid. From the beginning of the race the question was: Could he draw the 50 percent plus one margin needed to avoid facing a runoff in May?
Soon after the polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, we had the answer: Yes. Easily.
"I love Jacksonville," Curry told his supporters when claiming victory just after 8 p.m.
Among early and absentee voters, Curry drew 57.5 percent of the vote, and as the 199 precincts were counted early Tuesday evening, his margin held.
"Four years ago I promised that I would focus on public safety, the pension crisis, education opportunity for young people, invest in your neighborhoods and create jobs," Curry said. "In over the last four years, I've honored those promises and I think that's why you reelected me."
Fellow Republican but political adversary Councilwoman Anna Lopez Brosche drew 24 percent. NPA candidate Omega Allen was in third with just over 10 percent and Republican Jimmy Hill drew over 7 percent of the vote.
Brosche thanked her supporters as she conceded the race just before 8 p.m. She also thanked her fellow candidates Allen and Hill.
“I know that we’re all disappointed in the outcome and were hoping for a different answer," Brosche said. “Jacksonville deserved a choice. They had a choice and, and they’ve chosen."
In his speech Tuesday night, Curry thanked Allen, who ran against him in 2015 and again this year, but he did not mention Brosche or Hill, both of whom are very critical of him during the campaign.
Curry said he’ll getting right back to work on many of the issues that he has worked on for the past four years. He feels victorious about what he’s done and optimistic about the future.
"I’m gonna leave by example and just work every day with bringing people together and just keep spending time in neighborhoods," Curry said.
Election Day was good to incumbents
Sheriff Mike Williams easily defeated his one challenger, Tony Cummings, to win by a margin of 62 to 38 percent.
Jerry Holland won a second term as property appraiser over Kurt Kraft with a vote of 66 to 34 percent.
After being elected tax collector in a special election last year, Jim Overton defeated challenger John Crescimbeni by a margin of 58 to 42 percent.
All but two City Council members running for a second term won re-election Tuesday. Those two led their multi-candidate races but failed to reach the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff.
News4Jax political analyst Rick Mullaney, who runs the Public Policy Institute at Jacksonville University, said it was a good night for the Republican Party.
"Republican in the mayor’s office; Republican in all five offices of the constitutional offices and, of course, a very strong City Council with a majority Republican on City Council," Mullaney said.
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