JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Chris Hoffman has become the first woman to be elected as the mayor of Jacksonville Beach, defeating Jeanell Wilson with 70% of the vote.
“There’s so little opportunity to make history. Just really, so few and far between these days. I run the Beaches Museum, so I live in the beaches history all day, every day," Hoffman said. "To be a part of that now is really exciting.”
Hoffman said she is passionate about her community and ready to take office. Notably, the mayors of the neighboring beaches -- Atlantic and Neptune -- are also women.
Hoffman says she grew up in a military family that laid down roots in Jacksonville Beach. The Fletcher High School graduate said one of her goals as mayor is to revive downtown.
“We have a real opportunity to diversify the mix of businesses here. We are seeing some hotel growth, obviously with Margaritaville coming in soon, the Element hotel right down the street. So we need to see some more restaurants, some shopping, some better walkability and things for our visitors, as well as our residents, to enjoy," she said.
Ellen Glasser was re-elected as Mayor of Atlantic Beach Tuesday night.
“I spent a lot of the past two weeks talking to Chris outside of early voting at the library, so I think her resounding win is an indication of just how much people are going to support her when she assumes office," Glasser said.
“The coolest thing and the best thing is we’ve all gotten along in the past anyway," said Neptune Beach Mayor Elaine Brown. "And we all believe in good government and open government, and so it’s really something I feel very good about as far as working together for the good of the beaches.”
Hoffman is expected to be sworn-in as mayor at the City Council meeting in two weeks.