Do the recent political ads in the mayor’s race have an impact on the way you vote? Many say yes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville is now less than a month away from electing a new mayor. It will be either Republican Daniel Davis or Democrat Donna Deegan.

The race is expected to be extremely close and the TV ads are getting more in-depth. News4JAX has been talking with voters about whether or not those ads could be a deciding factor in who wins the election.

There have been debates and there will be more forums where Duval County voters can hear from the two candidates running for mayor. But the one thing that voters said seems to make a big difference are the political ads.

Deegan’s latest ad is her response to a Davis-backed ad saying she is “not on your side” and claims she doesn’t support the police. In her ad, Deegan tries to make it clear she does back the police. And in her latest ad, she is pointing back at Davis.

“I support our police and I have a plan to keep our neighborhoods safe and healthy and I am the only candidates who has never and will never support the corrupt JEA deal,” Deegan says in the ad.

On Wednesday afternoon, News4JAX received a copy of a new ad from the local Republican party that starts airing soon. It has Republican Sheriff T.K. Waters slamming Deegan while he supports Davis.

“We need a mayor that improves public safety and not take it backward. Donna Deegan’s radical policies would make our families and my officers less safe,” Waters says in the ad.

On Wednesday, News4JAX spoke to voters who these ads are targeted to and they said they do pay attention to them.

“Yeah, I mean, sometimes they are nasty,” said voter Andrew Hensch, who said they help him decide.

Voter Ilsa Jefferson said the ads are important but added, “It’s hard to say when you’re dealing with politicians because you just don’t know.”

Others have said the negative ads are a turn-off and they turn off those politicians.

News4JAX Political Analyst Rick Mullaney of JU’s Public Policy Institute said the TV ads make a big difference.

Mullaney spoke about how Deegan handled the controversial ad centered on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“For Donna Deegan, however, she had to rebut to some extent, the onslaught of the attack from Daniel Davis. And she did it in two ways. One is by responding and saying she has a plan for public safety, and she supports law enforcement. But second, she contrasts herself or attempts to contrast herself on the JEA issue, saying that she never supported the sale of the JEA. Kind of a smart way to go about it. One is being on defense, the other is being more proactive,” Mullaney said.

News4JAX did speak to Sheriff Waters on the phone and asked him what radical policies he is referring to about Deegan. He said it’s her support for a citizen’s review board.

Mullaney said to expect many more ads in the final days of the close race.

RELATED: Deegan calls ad ‘racially insensitive’, Davis doubles down

Republican-funded ad goes after Democrat mayoral candidate Donna Deegan

We want to know if recent political ads in the mayor’s race have an impact on the way you vote. Answer in the form below and your response may be read on a Channel 4 newscast.

About the Author:

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