NAACP in Jacksonville hosts candidate forum ahead of March election

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The NAACP Jacksonville Chapter hosted its “This is Power” forum on Monday night at the Beaver Street Enterprise Center, which featured candidates running in the upcoming city elections.

Candidates for a handful of races, including Jacksonville’s next mayor, city council and city council at-large seats addressed voters. They answered questions regarding issues including crime, affordable housing and infrastructure in the city.

“I was born here in Jacksonville. I moved back five years ago — and there’s potholes older than me,” one person told the candidates.

Herford Bean said he came to hear how candidates would serve his community.

“What brought me out here is my mom, my neighborhood, people — all my neighbors,” Bean said.

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He lives in the New Town neighborhood, which he says is a part of town that has been neglected in the past.

“We have been pleading so much for improvements in the neighborhood. Just little minor things. The road. No sidewalks. No storm drain, so when it rains, it floods,” Bean said.

Marcella Washington is a political analyst and Jacksonville native. She was eager to learn more about those running to be the city’s next mayor.

“I would like to see a mayor that could bring us together,” Washington said. “I think the city council needs leadership, especially with something that concerns me — with this whole idea of Confederate monuments coming down. We need a mayor that’s gonna say, ‘Let’s do this. It’s good for the city of Jacksonville.”

A reminder: The seven candidates running for Jacksonville mayor who will appear on the ballot will join News4JAX anchor Kent Justice for one hour to answer questions important to local voters. We’re soliciting questions from News4JAX Insiders, and Kent will take those questions directly to the candidates.

The debate is Wednesday, March 8 at 8 p.m. on Channel 4, and News4JAX+.

Vote 2023 mayoral debate on Channel 4 (Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

About the Author:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.