While vote-by-mail ballots are being delivered, negative TV ads continue

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As Jacksonville gets ready to elect a new mayor, vote-by-mail ballots are now being delivered and early voting begins in 24 days. But what’s been happening for some time now is the negative TV ads in the mayor’s race, raising concern among the public and the candidates.

News4JAX asked Dorothy Leitch, who was having lunch downtown, what she is seeing in the TV ads. “I see hate and lies and not progress and solutions.”

Most of the focus of the ads have been the battle between Republicans Daniel Davis and LeAnna Cumber. The two have been trading jabs at each other on the JEA saga and they have also been targeting each other personally. And now, we are seeing an ad targeting fellow Republican and city councilman Al Ferraro.

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News4JAX political analyst, Rick Mullaney, of the Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute, has been watching this all play out. When asked if he was surprised at how negative the race has become, Mullaney said, “Well, you know, I think everyone anticipated--with the big war chest and fundraising for Daniel Davis and LeAnna Cumber--that it would eventually go negative. And they’re both well funded.”

Mullaney went on to say “I do think however, this has probably exceeded the expectations of most. It certainly has been negative, and quite frankly, the greatest beneficiaries may be those who aren’t involved.”

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Meaning, the other five candidates in the race for mayor.

“In fact, one of the reasons you may be starting to see negative ads directed at Al Ferraro is that he may be benefiting from the negative campaigning that’s going on between what many people consider to be the two best funded, which is Daniel Davis and LeAnna Cumber,” Mullaney added.

While there are still 39 days left before election day, there is still a lot more to play out, including a debate. But, Mullaney says to expect to continue to hear the negative ads up until election day.

About the Author:

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