JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In a letter addressed Thursday to Mike Hogan, the Duval County supervisor of elections, Jacksonville City Council member Brenda Priestly Jackson writes that she be withdrawing as a candidate for District 10.
That means her service will end officially on June 30. She writes that her experience serving as a Council member has been “one of the greatest and most humbling honors,” saying it’s the community where her parents built their home 60 years ago — the same home where she and her husband live and raised daughters and sons of their own.
Jackson writes that there are “varied reasons” for her decision, including personal needs of her family and work with her education foundation and legal clients. Additionally, Jackson writes about the current interim remedial map for redistricting.
“However, two overarching reasons for my decision are that I believe that the current interim remedial map used for redistricting unjustly draws 85% of Black neighbors into the new boundaries for District 10 and the waiver of the residency requirements for nine of the 14 single member council districts erodes the Jacksonville Charter.
“The proposed new District 10 further strips Black neighbors from surrounding districts including Districts 7, 8 and 9 and erodes both the promises of consolidation and the vote and voices of Black neighbors throughout Jacksonville. The waiver of the residency requirements for nine of the 14 districts that allows anyone to move into one of the nine districts and qualify to run for that district undercuts fundamental notions of our charter and the role of truly representative government envisioned by representation grounded in residency. For who is better than a neighbor who understands the needs of a community because she has lived in that community to represent a community and legislate and fund the needs of that community?”
In March, Jacksonville will be voting for a new mayor and new city council members to run the city. This race will be different from others because of the ongoing redistricting fight.
Friday is the last day that candidates can qualify to run and some races are getting crowded.
As of Thursday, there were six candidates who qualified for the mayoral race. As for the city council, more and more candidates are entering the race with some big and familiar names such as former TV Anchor and Report Ken Amaro, former City Councilman John Drapper, and attorney John Phillips to name a few.