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Sam Newby drops bid for Jacksonville City Council VP; three hopefuls remain

The clouded picture in the race for Jacksonville City Council Vice-President cleared up Tuesday, with Sam Newby dropping out to focus on his re-election bid.

Jacksonville Daily Record reporter David Cawton broke the news on Twitter.

Newby, an at-large Councilman, faces one opponent thus far for re-election.

The first-term Republican’s exit from the race leaves three candidates standing: Democrat Tommy Hazouri and Republicans Danny Becton and Scott Wilson. And thus far, none of the candidates have galvanized much support.

Hazouri, a political veteran who has been Jacksonville Mayor as well as a State Representative and School Board member, sees the VP role as the logical next level. However, he hasn’t been put in the spotlight during his time on Council, and pledges have eluded him.

Becton, a fiscal watchdog from the Southside, is a Republican in his first-term. Jim Love is a pledged supporter.

Wilson, likewise a Republican in his first term, sought the VP role last year, but was steamrolled in the vote by current VP Aaron Bowman.

Wilson had support from Bill GullifordJohn Crescimbeni, and Joyce Morgan, among others, in that bid. None of them have pledged support to anyone in the current field.

While the VP spot is in doubt until Tuesday’s vote, the same doesn’t hold true for the top job.

Bowman has a majority of Council’s pledged support, and all expectations are that the Chamber Republican will function seamlessly with Mayor Lenny Curry.

Council votes on these offices next Tuesday, and pledge meetings will take place throughout the next week.

New officers take control July 1.

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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