JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The woman who was the top choice of Mayor Donna Deegan, has pulled her name out of the running for the city’s general counsel position.
Former councilwoman Randy DeFoor’s nomination had been put on hold because of concern over a state rule that does not allow former city council members to take on a lobbying position for two years.
The city was waiting to hear if DeFoor’s role as general counsel would fall under that rule. But, DeFoor, a Republican, chose to take her name out of the running on Wednesday.
She released this statement shortly after the announcement:
Thank you to Mayor Deegan for nominating me to serve as General Counsel for her and the Consolidated Government of Jacksonville, the City I love. In the best interest of both, I withdraw my request for consent to the nomination. My support for this Mayor, and my belief that we must as a city unite in support of her is undiminished; we must rise above politics to create a better environment for all of us.
After watching the events of the past few weeks in this and other related matters, I would remind us of the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “If we do not learn to live together as brothers [and sisters], we shall perish together as fools.” This is my only prayer for all of us. I look forward to serving this community in other capacities and will have no further comment at this time.
Mayor Donna Deegan issued this statement:
“I’m grateful that Randy was willing to continue serving the city we both love. I stand by her impeccable character and qualifications. Randy has the support of all the city’s independent authorities and a large, bipartisan coalition of community and business leaders. Jacksonville needs a General Counsel who has her vast experience, commitment to service, and belief that unity is our only path forward. We will continue moving ahead with those qualities in mind.”
The city’s general counsel oversees legal opinions for many areas, not only at city hall but also in legal matters for various city agencies, and it carries lots of responsibility.
News4JAX had heard that some council members have said DeFoor is difficult to work with, and were not going to vote her into that office.
This is the second of Mayor Deegan’s nominations that has not worked out.
Deegan wanted another former city council member, Republican Al Ferraro, to run the city’s neighborhoods department despite not having a college degree. He pulled his name out of consideration because his lack of a degree became an issue for the city council.
A city of Jacksonville spokesperson said that an acting general counsel will be announced soon. Their term will begin on October 1, 2023.