Jax Chamber holds “meet the candidates” event for JAXBIZ picks

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On the banks of the Saint Johns River in Jacksonville, on a perfect 80 degree, sunny afternoon, the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce today held a “meet the candidates” event for picks of JAXBIZ, its political arm.

Daniel Davis, Chamber President, expects the BIZ Picks to resonate. He says the Chamber has “three thousand members with lots and lots of employees.” The Chamber has a lot riding on this election, and has cut across party lines to endorse candidates who support a pro-business agenda.

Right now, Davis said, the focus is on raising money, finding a way to complement each candidate on a case by case basis.

I talked to a few of the candidates who got the coveted endorsement. One such candidate: At Large City Council candidate Michelle Tappouni, who seems to embody the market conservative paradigm that the Chamber prefers.

Describing herself as “pro small business”, she believes that the endorsement came because the Chamber “recognizes her almost 30 years of experience” working to bring forth positive outcomes, with a lot of that serving as a liaison between small business and state and federal legislators.

Scott Wilson, a first-time City Council candidate and member of the Duval County Republican Executive Committee, likewise values the endorsement, saying that “Chamber support tells people the small business community is behind me.” Among the issues the Southside Republican prioritizes are pension reform, balancing the budget, and addressing public safety issues, such as loitering and panhandling, near the intersection of Beach and University Boulevards.

And then, of course, there was Councilman Bill Gulliford, who doesn’t need the Chamber’s help — he’s running unopposed. He just showed up to “signal appreciation for the Chamber’s support.”

The complete list of JAXBIZ endorsements:

Mayor: Lenny Curry

Sheriff: Mike Williams

City Council District 2: Lisa King

District 3: Aaron Bowman

District 4: Scott Wilson

District 5: Lori Boyer

District 6: Matt Schellenberg

District 7: Reginald Gaffney

District 8: Pat Lockett-Felder

District 9: Garrett Dennis

District 10: Reggie Brown

District 11: Danny Becton

District 12: Doyle Carter

District 13: Bill Gulliford

District 14: Jim Love

At-Large, Group 1: Anna Brosche

At-Large, Group 2: David Barron

At-Large, Group 3: Tommy Hazouri

At-Large, Group 4: Greg Anderson

At-Large, Group 5: Michelle Tappouni




A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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