Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is in Washington D.C. today making the push for a federal infrastructure grant, and a packed itinerary awaits him.
The $25 million grant from the Department of Transportation would allow the city to reconfigure off ramps from the Hart Bridge onto surface streets.
The push is supported by Sen. Marco Rubio, who is just one of the Beltway power players Curry will meet with.
Curry will meet with Billy Kirkland and Justin Clark, who handle intergovernmental affairs for the White House.
As well, the Mayor has meetings slated with U.S. Reps. John Rutherford and Mario Diaz-Balart.
Diaz-Balart, a senior member of the House Committee on Appropriations, is chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. He also serves on the House Committee on the Budget.
Curry follows up the Diaz-Balart meeting with meetings with senior staff from the U.S. D.O.T., and then a meeting with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
Worth noting: Marty Fiorentino of the Fiorentino Group helped Chao, an old friend and colleague, as she settled into her latest Cabinet position.
Curry, a Trump supporter even through Presidential statements that he describes as occasionally “inartful,” has focused on collaborating with the administration.
“I’ve already got messages in to the Trump Administration. I’d like the federal government to be able to help us in some form in Jacksonville. I don’t know what that looks like yet. But we’re going to leverage every relationship we have to get help here with issues we’re facing,” Curry said in February.
Jacksonville is uniquely positioned in terms of the Trump administration beyond the Fiorentino connection. Ballard Partners employs Susie Wiles, a city hall veteran and a close ally and friend of Curry.
Ultimately, though, the sale is Curry’s to make. And by the end of this day, the Mayor should have some idea as to whether he made it or not.