Home field advantage for HD 16 Republican Dick Kravitz? FloridaPolitics.com saw him greeting voters in the lobby at the main office of the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Tuesday.
A tipster told us, “Mike Hogan, the Supervisor of Elections, has allowed an active candidate – Dick Kravitz – to work at the door greeting voters as they come in – he then accosts you outside as you leave about supporting him – and hands you this card.”
Hogan and Kravitz, both former Jacksonville city councilmen, have an interesting entwined history. Kravitz ran to replace Hogan as tax collector in 2011 when Hogan left that office to run for mayor.
In doing so, Kravitz gave up a run for the state Senate against Aaron Bean, telling The Florida Times-Union that “the lure of traveling back and forth to Tallahassee, as he did during his time in the Florida House, is not as strong now that his wife is retired, and he’d like to spend more time with her.”
With him running for the state House now, the lure of traveling seems to have increased.
Kravitz looked surprised to see media at the Supervisor of Elections office, and he characterized the tipster’s claims that he accosts voters as they leave about supporting him and hands them a business card as “bogus.”
That said, Kravitz added, “I go to lunch around the corner” and he gives out cards if “someone saw me and I recognize them.”
However, he’s given cards to “nobody in here,” even though he “might have met somebody walking down the street.”
When asked about his employment at the SOE, Kravitz said he’d been working there part-time since July, and that there “absolutely” is not a conflict between working as a greeter at the SOE and running for office.
He handed this reporter a business card with his campaign information during the conversation, and said: “call me and make it easy for me.”
While there indeed has been a history of political musical chairs in Jacksonville, with the same people bouncing around from one constitutional office (Tax Collector, Supervisor of Elections, and Property Appraiser) to another, employees running for office while working as employees of the SOE tends to be rarer. But not unprecedented.
Tracie Davis, the former deputy SOE whom Hogan defeated for the Supervisor of Elections position in 2015, was accused by Robin Lumb, the Duval GOP chair who was doing some negative messaging for the Hogan campaign before the election, of trying to “exploit her relationship with Poll Workers for the purpose of advancing her political career,” by contacting them to sign her petition for ballot access.
We have reached out to Elections Supervisor Mike Hogan, and to Jason Fischer, Kravitz’s opponent in the HD 16 race, for comment.