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City website (inadvertently) promoted Jacksonville property appraiser’s re-election bid

Duval County Property Appraiser Jerry Holland turned heads in April with $100,000 raised. In May, he added another $10,550 to the mix.

He has over $110,000 on hand, and has yet to spend money.

Holland, a popular Republican in his first term on the job, faces nominal opposition in Democrat Kurt Kraft, who is largely self-financed and has just over $260 on hand.

To counter Holland, who has been winning Jacksonville elections for decades, Kraft spent over $1,900 in May, with the bulk of that spend being on signage.

Inadvertently, at least until Monday, Holland, a former Supervisor of Elections,  had a free ad courtesy of the city of Jacksonville website.

The City of Jacksonville website contained, for two months, boldfaced directions for anyone wishing to donate: “April 2- Duval County Property Appraiser Jerry Holland announce his run for re-election! Should you want to contribute to the campaign send your contribution to Jerry Holland Campaign 1688 Harrington Park Drive Jacksonville 32225.”

Section 350 of Jacksonville municipal code issues prohibitions on blurring campaign and official personae and work, and the city website advertising the campaign would seem to contravene prohibitions on political signs and campaigning on public property.

When we reached out to Holland, he cleared up the matter as a case of human error.

An employee had shown him a draft version of the text and asked if it could be publicized.

He said “absolutely not.”

From there, the employee deleted the text — but not from all browsers.

The message was deleted finally Monday afternoon.

“It sure didn’t help with campaign contributions,” Holland quipped.

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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