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Melissa Nelson obliterates opponents in Orange Park straw poll

Is the 4th Circuit State Attorney race Melissa Nelson‘s to lose? Yet another poll suggests that’s the case.

Tuesday night’s straw poll at the Orange Park Medical Center candidate event offered a snapshot of the race, says our source who was there.

Nelson scored 88 of the 185 votes cast, doubling Wes White’s 44 votes, and well ahead of incumbent Angela Corey, who had 53 votes.

To put that in percentage terms, Nelson got 48 percent, White got 24 percent, and Corey got 29 percent (rounding made the total higher than 100 percent in this case).

Is this straw poll an outlier? Not really. In fact, it correlates with a public poll released yesterday showing a similar trend at the top of the race.

As Peter Schorsch wrote, “According to St. Pete Polls, Nelson is almost lapping Corey, leading her 53 to 27 percent among likely Republican voters. Wes White is trailing far behind at 11 percent, while 9 percent of voters say they are unsure who to vote for.”

Schorsch cited “Corey fatigue” as a reason for the spread.

Corey and White, erstwhile allies turned electoral enemies, have seemed to key in on knocking Nelson off her perch of leadership.

Corey’s PAC has produced a website making some charges about Nelson. White appealed to Corey this week to launch a grand jury investigation of Nelson’s campaign for attempting to “intimidate” him out of the race in an April meeting, though it’s unclear how a grand jury would rule on his hearsay account of a conversation that everyone else on hand disputes.

It is the second grand jury investigation White called for in his campaign; the first was related to texting between members the Jacksonville City Council and the head of the firefighters’ union last year during budget proceedings.

Back in October, White called for “search warrants allowing for the seizure and forensic examination of the cell phones of all parties” and then for the matter to be put “squarely” in front of a grand jury.

Nothing came of that call from White.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at

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