Your Voice Matters: Issues you & our political analyst say are biggest for next Jacksonville mayor

As part of our Your Voice Matters campaign, we’ve been asking what you think the biggest challenges are facing the next mayor.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In March, Jacksonville voters will submit a ballot for the city’s next mayor. Republican Lenny Curry is term-limited and someone new will be taking the seat.

There’s a crowded field of people who hope to become the next Jacksonville mayor — eight to be exact. The first scheduled debate between is Monday at the Jacksonville Rotary Club. Republican Dan Davis has chosen not to participate.

As part of our Your Voice Matters campaign, we’ve been asking what you think the biggest challenges are facing the next mayor.

“Being able to clean up the areas of town where rich people do not live,” voter Obie Langley told News4JAX.

“Things to do with homelessness and overall safety,” Hannah Mangum told us.

It’s something we’ve heard from News4JAX Insiders like Colleen, who wrote:

“Crime, no other concerns, just crime, I know all big cities have it, but it is getting out of hand.”

I spoke with News4JAX political analyst Rick Mullaney, of Jacksonville University’s Public Policy Institute, about what he believes might be the issues faced by the city’s new mayor.

He mentioned quite a few of note.

“A potential billion-dollar deal with the Jaguars when it comes to the stadium and that whole sports complex, big investments in infrastructure as you’re seeing from the six cent gas tax, crime issues, of course, the Emerald Trail, big referendums and funding for education and growth in Jacksonville — and how do we deal with growth, which is a good thing, by the way, when capital is flowing here and growth is growing here,” Mullaney said. “But it also means challenges. The next mayor will have their hands full.”

And some of those other issues involve minority neighborhoods.

“They don’t seem to have people that have a voice for them,” Carolyn Miles said. “So they don’t get taken care of whereas the other neighborhoods might.”

Insider Endya Freeman agrees, writing: “Inequities in resources. The North and Westside are underserved with a lack of youth centers and senior centers.

Notably, Duval County went red in the midterm election, with voters reelecting Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio. That’s a departure from what we saw in 2018 and 2020, in which statewide elections in Duval County went blue.

A question unanswered: Does that momentum carry forward for the Republicans this spring?

About the Author:

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