Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has been an enthusiastic supporter and friend of Sen. Marco Rubio, dating back to a time before Rubio was in the U.S. Senate.
Evidence of that political symbiosis abounds in more recent memory.
Rubio was a prominent backer of Curry’s mayoral bid, coming into town for a rally the day before the May 2015 election that swept Curry into office over Alvin Brown, the Democratic incumbent considered unassailable by media types.
Curry backed Rubio in the Florida presidential primary, undaunted by polls headed up to the March vote that showed Trump poised to take Duval County and the rest of the state.
Beyond politics, the two have functioned well in the policy realm, with Curry and Rubio working together to offer long-delayed, meaningful redress for the residents of some of Jacksonville’s most neglected HUD properties.
During that brief period after Rubio left the presidential race, there was some question as to whether he would run for re-election after all.
Curry was one of those who publicly urged Rubio to reconsider his decision to leave the Senate, saying, “we need Marco Rubio for the skills he brings to the table.”
Rubio, of course, ran, dispatching Carlos Beruff in the primary before a more competitive general election battle against Patrick Murphy.
On Monday morning, Curry was showing support for Rubio again, thanking volunteers at a Southside Jacksonville HQ.
Rubio, Curry said, “reached out last week” to ask Curry to help “get the message out” and “get people to turn out.”
“A whole lot of us pushed him to run again,” Curry added.
“This is an important election,” Curry said, from “the top of the ticket on down,” especially the U.S. Senate.
There, Curry said, Rubio’s “strong voice” and willingness to engage on “tough issues” stand out.
Among the topics that came up with media: early voting.
“Early voting is becoming the new normal,” Curry said.
Regarding the gap of over 4,000 votes between Democrats and Republicans in Duval County, Curry emphasized the importance of “ground game” to close that gap for the GOP side.
There are a variety of opinions as to how Duval’s vote distribution ultimately will shake out.
Duval County typically goes red on Election Day.
But this is an atypical year, with changes in voting patterns and a realignment of the GOP along Trumpian lines providing meaningful wildcards that preclude precise forecasting of how the election will go, in Duval and everywhere else.