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Special election planned to fill empty city council seat left by Tommy Hazouri

Special election planned to fill empty city council seat left by Tommy Hazouri
Special election planned to fill empty city council seat left by Tommy Hazouri

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the community mourns the death of local political icon Tommy Hazouri, the city council is working to figure out how to fill his empty seat.

Council President Sam Newby said there will have to be a special election before the year ends to decide who fills that seat. The whole county will get the chance to vote.

Hazouri was in his second term as an at-large councilman for the city when he died on Saturday.

MORE | ‘A true Jacksonville champion’: Local, state leaders pay tribute to Tommy Hazouri

Rick Mullaney, News4Jax political analyst and the director of the Public Policy Institute at Jacksonville University, said there needs to be a special election to fill his position.

“It can be no sooner than one month since the vacancy occurred and no longer than six months after the vacancy,” Mullaney said. “City council will be able to pass legislation, of course, you now have the prospect potentially, of an 8-8 vote depending on what the legislation is.”

Newby said the city council plans to have the election in mid-December.

“If we need a runoff it will be held February 22 and the person will probably be sworn in February 25,” Newby said.

Newby said Hazouri did a lot for the city council so members will be taking over his work.

“I’m going to take one of his committee assignments and the vice president is going to take another assignment,” Newby said.

The special election will be conducted by the Supervisor of Elections office.


About the Author:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.