On Sunday, the Florida Times-Union reported that Jacksonville City Council candidate Katrina Brown, running in a heated race in District 8, had an overdue property tax bill of $22,000. It was related to a manufacturing plant for one of her family businesses, Jerome Brown BBQ The politically connected company’s namesake has endorsed Alvin Brown for mayor and has given thousands of dollars over the years to Friends of Corrine Brown.
Katrina Brown was Corrine Brown’s “Quick Pick” in the District 8 donnybrook.
On Wednesday, JoAnn Brown, Jerome’s wife, paid the overdue taxes and associated fees in full, three weeks after the amount was due.
What drove it? Some might say campaign scrutiny. Along with the local paper, Florida Politics has covered the financial issues swirling around Katrina Brown, and it became an issue in the District 8 debate, covered by the Jacksonville Daily Record:
In her closing statements, (Pat) Lockett-Felder hit back at an issue of (Katrina) Brown’s revealed earlier in the day.
“Hey, pay your tax,” Lockett-Felder said about Brown. “I pay my tax.”
The Florida Times-Union published a story about a business Brown’s family owns owing close to $22,000 in taxes. Lockett-Felder’s blow caused the crowd to respond with hushed shock and Brown to raise her hand asking to respond. But when Lockett-Felder was done, the debate was, too.
Brown afterward said the issue “was getting taken care of” and she changed her mind about responding and “wanted to take the high road” on the issue.
Clearly, that issue has been resolved. Questions remain about Corrine Brown’s endorsement of Katrina Brown though, in a District 8 race that looks to be a proxy war between the congresswoman and outgoing District 8 Councilwoman Denise Lee, who announced her endorsement of Lockett-Felder in an April 16 interview with Florida Politics.
During this election cycle, she has bristled against Corrine Brown and her “Quick Pick” of Katrina Brown, who according to Lee, doesn’t live in the district but uses her parents’ address to establish residency. Thursday’s interview was no exception.
“When I saw how people were misled, based on that slip of paper, when the endorser is never at city council meetings, community meetings, blight committee meetings, I’m concerned about that,” Lee said
“I didn’t know who would be in the runoff, but I decided to support someone,” the councilwoman said, emphasizing that there were a lot of candidates in that crowded field who she felt good about. Katrina Brown was not among them.
Part of the reason, she said, is that unlike Lockett-Felder, who is ready to “hit the ground running,” Brown lacks experience in government.
Expect more drama from District 8 before it’s all over.