Your Voice Matters: Crime remains key issue for Jacksonville voters in midterm elections

Your Voice Matters 1280x720 (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

Early voting is underway in Northeast Florida this week and there is one key issue on the minds of many voters.

Elections officials predict turnout as high as 65%, and in a recent informal survey, News4JAX.com users said crime as the biggest issue facing Jacksonville residents, with 61% of over 1,400 respondents choosing it as the priority over affordable housing, downtown development and growth.

Dorothy and Walter Foreman told News4JAX this week they agree and said that gun violence is their top concern this election cycle.

“Too many kids getting killed,” Walter Foreman told News4JAX after he cast his early voting ballot Tuesday in Northwest Jacksonville.

“All I’m hearing is somebody else is shot, somebody else’s son is gone, somebody else’s daughter is gone,” Dorothy Foreman said. “I’m very concerned.”

News4JAX records show so far this year, 130 people have been killed in Duval County, which equals the total number of homicides in Jacksonville all of last year.

Candidates for Jacksonville Sheriff, Lakesha Burton and T.K. Waters (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

Both sheriff candidates on the ballot this fall include building trust as part of their platforms. Republican T.K. Waters’ campaign website says he plans to add more officers to the streets, improve technology to fight violent crime and target violent criminals and gangs for prosecution.

Democrat Lakesha Burton’s campaign website says she plans to partner with community leaders to focus more on prevention and education, increase officer training on interacting with the public, and add street-level detectives to target gang and drug violence.

News4JAX spoke also spoke with potential voters on Wednesday as Democrat candidate for governor Charlie Crist came through Jacksonville to meet with people on the Westside. They had a question for Crist.

“What would he do to combat crime that’s going on?” Shirley Evans said.

Democrat and candidate for governor Charlie Crist during a campaign stop on Jacksonville's Westside. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

Once the former Republican governor and Democratic congressman arrived in Jacksonville News4JAX asked him.

“I mean, that’s obviously incredibly important,” Crist said. “What we all want, as fellow Floridians is to make sure that we have safe communities to raise our family, safe schools for our children to be educated in. And first and foremost, we have to get that right. And I’ll do everything I can as both a former Attorney General and a former governor who understands that safety is incredibly important.”

RELATED: Gov. DeSantis, Charlie Crist go head-to-head on pressing issues in first, only debate before midterm election

As part of our commitment to making sure Your Voice Matters in our election coverage, News4JAX is more focused than ever on what issues are important to you and how the candidates plan to address them -- not on the candidate ‘back and forth’ and political theater, though we will continue to fact check claims made by candidates.

In the weeks leading up to the 2022 midterm election, and the elections held in the spring of 2023, News4JAX has been working hard to find out what issues are most important to you and taking your questions and concerns to candidates running for office.

It’s all part of our “Your Voice Matters” campaign. (More on our mission can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.)

When this newsletter hits your inbox in the coming weeks, it will be made up of stories where the voters and the issues are the focal points. We will avoid political drama and rumors involving candidates, conflicting polls and topics like how much money a candidate has raised.

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Ask your Questions ❓

Two candidates are in the running to become the next Clay County Commissioner for District 2, a district that covers the Oakleaf area in the northern part of the county.

Republican Alexandra Compere is going up against Democrat Leroy Edwards to fill the seat currently being held by Commission Chairman and Republican Wayne Bolla

Both Compere and Edwards are guests on This Week in Jacksonville with host Kent Justice.

As part of our Your Voice Matters campaign, we want to hear from you before early voting starts in Clay County on Oct. 28.

So, Clay County residents, what are your questions for the candidates, and what are the most important local issues to you?

Click here to fill out a form and ask a question.

Republican Alexandra Compere is running against Democrat Leroy Edwards for County Commissioner District 2. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

Voter’s Guide 🗳️

We also created a comprehensive voter’s guide so you are informed on where all the local candidates stand on key issues heading into the Nov. 8 election. As Thomas Jefferson once so eloquently said: “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people,” so with that in mind we packed as much information as we could into our guide so you can be prepared at the polls.

MORE HERE: NEWS4JAX VOTER’S GUIDE

Our guide begins with interactive maps to help you find your congressional, state Senate and state House districts, and we break down the rest of the races by county. We hope you take a few minutes to learn something about the candidates’ backgrounds and their views on the issues. Plus, learn about the amendments and any ballot initiatives for your county or city.

More Voice Matters Stories

Your Voice Matters Mission Statement 🗣️

WJXT is THE local station, and there is nothing more local than elections. When it comes to making sure our viewers and digital consumers are informed, we take that role seriously. Nothing affects the changing world more than politics and elections. Education, the environment, the economy and equal rights are driven by elections. We will not pursue stories that frame elections as a horse race, we will not focus on candidate theater, and we will not stray from the issues important to you. News4JAX election coverage will empower you as you vote and take part in the democratic process.

News4JAX is making a commitment to consistent community outreach to hear from you both digitally and in person. We will then take your input and your questions and bring them right to the candidates running for office. We will also hold the candidates accountable for their words and actions using our “Trust Index” and fact-checking. News4JAX.com will give you a ‘Voters Guide’ that will empower you with information before you head to the polls, information directly from the candidates, ballots and elected leaders. We promise all this, with a foundation of diversity, equity and inclusion in our coverage. Telling the story of the local community, everything WJXT does is with our community in mind. That’s why WJXT has been the market leader for more than 65 years.

Contact Us 📧

Feel free to share your story ideas with the Your Voice Matters team by sending an email to the leaders, including Kent Justice (kjustice@wjxt.com), Jim Piggott (jpiggott@wjxt.com) and Travis Gibson (tgibson@wjxt.com).


About the Author:

Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.