Your Voice Matters: A look at the attempted JEA sale and the race for Jacksonville Mayor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – What role is JEA playing in the upcoming mayoral election? The attempted sale of the Jacksonville government owned utility has made headlines over the past five years, and now it’s coming up again in political attack ads.

The two candidates who are pointing fingers at each other are Republicans Daniel Davis and LeAnna Cumber in TV ads.

But is this something voters think is important?

When asked if the attempted sale of JEA should be a campaign issue, one resident said, “It’s probably going to be I guess.” But, this person also said they don’t think it’s important.

TELL US: What role does the attempted sale of JEA have on the mayor’s race?

Jacksonville resident, Rick Shin, said, “How much of the city and everything is rolled into JEA, so it’s an important thing we need to understand.”

Chris Hand is a local government law attorney and has watched city elections play out for years.

“Obviously, the candidates are spending time discussing JEA. Right now, there are obviously charges flying back and forth in some of the paid advertising we are seeing,” Hand said. “So there’s clearly going to be some dialogue about the previous JEA situation in this election.”

Hand went on to say, “Elections, what they’re really supposed to be about is a conversation between candidates and voters, about the future of Jacksonville. And of course, we are not seeing it.”

Hand believes some of those issues include affordable housing, crime and healthcare. Issues many News4JAX insiders believe are important. We asked them and others what role JEA should play in the upcoming election.

Eddie George wrote, “I would like to know with certainty the names of any candidate even remotely involved in the sale. I will not vote for them.”

An anonymous responder wrote, “Without evidence, citizens are unable to offer qualified opinions, just speculative observations. The answer should be no effect.”

The election is March 21.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.