Jacksonville mayoral candidates Daniel Davis, Donna Deegan headed to May general election

No candidate received 50% of the vote on March 21

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – No candidate running to become Jacksonville’s next mayor received enough of the vote to be declared the winner Tuesday night.

The two candidates who received the greatest number of votes — Republican Daniel Davis and Democrat Donna Deegan — will now face off during the May 16 general election.

Here’s how the votes stacked up:

Mayoral race results. (News4JAX.com)

To have been declared the winner Tuesday night, Deegan would have needed to clear 50% of the vote. She was the first of the two candidates to address their supporters.

“I’m beyond thrilled to say that we are moving on, we are moving on as the heavy frontrunner into round two and I look forward to continue sharing my vision to Jacksonville, continuing to be that voice for the voiceless in this city and continuing to bring the people into this campaign so that we can make Jacksonville a city that finally works for every single one of us,” Deegan told her supporters.

(Click photo below for Deegan’s uncut speech)

Davis was introduced by Sheriff T.K. Waters and addressed his supporters shortly after 8:30 p.m.

“It’s been an incredible couple of months, and the last week has been pretty insane as well, and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you, my friends who have worked so hard to help us get to this point. This is not a victory. This is a halfway point. There’s much more to do. And I can’t wait to make sure that we make our city a better place with your help in the future,” Davis told his supporters.

(Click photo below for Davis’ uncut speech)

Deegan and Davis, as well as the seven other candidates whose names appeared on the ballot, participated in a debate in March on the campus of Jacksonville University. Candidates debated a host of topics, including crime, underserved neighborhoods and a potential renovation of TIAA Bank Field.

RELATED: Crime, underserved neighborhoods, stadium renovations: Mayoral candidates wrangle issues important to Jacksonville voters

It turns out that pouring money into the race did not necessarily equate to results at the polls. News4JAX did the math based on the most recent financial filings for each of the seven candidates for mayor.

Al Ferraro was not a big spender, reporting only $120,000 in receipts, which comes out to about $4.45 cents per vote her received.

Front runner Deegan’s campaign spent $426,000, so the more than 66,000 votes cast for her came with a $6.44 price tag each. Davis outspent his May election opponent, which bumped up the price of his votes to $16.62 each.

LeAnna Cumber -- who was widely seen as a frontrunner in the race -- finished in the bottom half of the results, which came out to one vote for every $81 spent by her campaign.

Cost per vote based on spending in mayoral election.

Election turnout was underwhelming with just 25% of Duval County voters casting a ballot.

“Fully expected to have a big turnout. We have seven candidates for mayor. Seventeen races. I don’t understand,” Hogan told News4JAX earlier in the evening.

RELATED: ‘I don’t understand’: Duval County elections supervisor disappointed at voter turnout

“It was one of the lowest turnouts for a city of Jacksonville first election in the last 20 years,” explained law attorney Chris Hand. “It barely exceeded the first election turnout four years ago, when there was not a particularly competitive mayoral race and no Democrat was even running. So one of the big stories is what didn’t happen, the voters that didn’t turn out.”

Why such a low turnout? There are a lot of causes, political analyst Rick Mullaney says.

“There’s speculation, some believe that the negative campaigning did have a dampening effect, that some people decided to stay home. Some of it is voter fatigue, but I’ll go back to what Chris said. I think it’s really unfortunate because the stakes are high. Come July 1, we’re gonna have a new mayor in Jacksonville. We’re gonna have a new city council, at least eight new city council members, really more than half, and in the end, a really important election, very consequential election. And it’s a shame that there wasn’t a bigger turnout.”

About the Authors:

Veteran journalist and Emmy Award winning anchor

Scott is a multi-Emmy Award Winning Anchor and Reporter, who also hosts the “Going Ringside With The Local Station” Podcast. Scott has been a journalist for 25 years, covering stories including six presidential elections, multiple space shuttle launches and dozens of high-profile murder trials.