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Audrey Gibson stretches cash lead over primary challenger Reggie Brown

Jacksonville political watchers are beginning to wonder about the strategy of Reggie Brown.

In August, the City Councilman opted to primary Democratic Senate Minority Leader Designate Audrey Gibson, but Brown has not yet actually raised any funds.

Through April, Gibson was far in the lead fundraising wise with more than $132,000 banked, with Brown far behind, closing the month with just $4 on hand.

In April, Brown raised no money and loaned his campaign $663.40, to defray costs for $1,883 in campaign signs.

Brown seems to be using city resources to increase his visibility. He held a “community fest” in April, and originally slated a “Health Education and Information Forum” event in City Hall this weekend, before cagily rescheduling the event for August — the heart of primary election season.

When asked about the conflation of taxpayer-funded events and an active candidacy, Brown’s reactions have ranged from defensive to profane.

Gibson, meanwhile, has been quiet about her challenger but has committed to fundraising, with strong April receipts measuring over $17,000, pushing her over $156,000 raised and to the aforementioned $132,000 cash on hand.

Gibson brought in receipts from unions, such as the police and fire locals, as well as racing interests, Crowley Maritime, and traditional Republican donors such as John Rood and John Baker.

SD 6 replaced the old Senate District 9 and is a Democratic stronghold covering the majority of the I-295 beltway in Jacksonville. Gibson was re-elected without opposition in 2016.

Gibson was voted Senate Democratic Leader Designate in November in the wake of former Sen. Jeff Clemens resignation. She will succeed current Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon II after the 2018 elections.

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Material from Florida Politics’ Drew Wilson was used in this post.

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 FloridaPolitics.com 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 a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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