At Large Jacksonville City Councilman Tommy Hazouri, a political veteran who has been everything from Mayor to State Rep and School Board member, filed for re-election Friday.
Hazouri, who scored more votes than any other citywide candidate in his decisive May 2015 victory over Republican Geoff Youngblood, is running unopposed for the office.
If re-elected, downtown development and citywide infrastructure will be priorities, as will river activation and library funding.
Hazouri’s primary legislative achievement was one of his campaign promises last cycle: a vow to expand the Human Rights Ordinance to protect LGBT people in Jacksonville from employment, housing, and public accommodations discrimination.
A controversial position to take in 2015, with both mayoral candidates offering less-than-clear positions on the bill and the religious right militating against it, Hazouri was able to get it through on its second try in Council in 2017, buoyed by Republican co-sponsors Aaron Bowman and Jim Love.
Hazouri, who initially had a Cold War with Mayor Lenny Curry over issues like Curry’s decision to remove Democrats from boards and commissions (the high point of which was Curry quoting Jay-Z in a diss of Hazouri), came around eventually, helping the Mayor make the sale of the pension reform referendum that passed resoundingly in 2015.
A friend of organized labor, including the public safety unions, Hazouri is currently unopposed on the 2019 ballot. Time will tell if a challenger emerges from the right in his Southside Jacksonville at-large group.