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Ju’Coby Pittman, Terrance Freeman would face little fundraising challenge in Jacksonville City Council bids

Tuesday saw Democrat Ju’Coby Pittman and Republican Terrance Freeman appointed to the Jacksonville City Council by Gov. Rick Scott.

They will be sworn in at 3 p.m. Thursday, in Council Chambers.

The appointments were necessitated by the June suspension of incumbent Democrats Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown, after an indictment on a scheme to defraud.

Pittman isn’t saying whether or not she wants to run in District 8. Freeman isn’t saying regarding District 10.

However, if they wanted to run, they have proven that they have the fundraising chops to compete in what are diffused and lightly-funded fields.

Pittman, who raised over $138,000 in 2015 (when she narrowly lost an at-large race to Republican Sam Newby, who was buoyed by the Lenny Curry mayoral campaign) would need a fraction of that haul to compete with the current field.

As of the end of June, the most prolific fundraiser has been Tameka Gaines Holly, who has brought in just over $26,000.

Holly’s fundraising has, alas, sputtered of late. She brought in $2,477 in June, which is in the range of what she’s raised the last four months.

The other candidates in the race, including incumbent Katrina Brown (who won the seat with $45,000 in 2015), Diallo Sekou-SeabrooksAlbert Wilcox, and former state Rep. Terry Fields, are all under $10,000 in fundraising.

Worth noting: Fields, who has yet to report June numbers at this writing, did raise $90,000 in his 2015 bid for the same office, but he didn’t make the runoff in the May general election. He also raised $63,000 in his failed 2016 bid for state House.

The path for Freeman, a Republican with pre-appointment residency concerns who is serving a district that is just 19 percent Republican, is clearer still — at least in money terms.

In his 2016 race in House District 12, Freeman, beloved by much (but not all) of the local political establishment, raised over $73,000. That’s more than the $42,000 Reggie Brown raised in 2015 to win the seat. And much more than anyone in the field has raised thus far.

No candidate has more than $2,000 on hand. Freeman could match that sum with a five-minute trip to bestbet corporate offices.

Since Pittman and Freeman have been appointed to serve the final year of the suspended indictees’ terms, they could — at least in theory — win the elections in 2019 and 2023.

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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