Lenny Curry serves as master of ceremonies on the Trump Train
Lenny Curry is one of the top names for the newly formed RNC host committee.

Lenny Curry at Trump rally

Running the risk of courting controversy with the local press, and perhaps some friction with Democrats and independents ahead of the Aug. 30 pension tax referendum, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry served as master of ceremonies at the Donald Trump rally Wednesday in front of a crowd of roughly 8,000 Trump supporters, which filled out further after his portion of the program ended to 10,000 – 12,000.

Curry served as a genial master of ceremonies, leaving it to the other speakers to serve up the heated rhetoric.

Curry, as opposed to other members of the Jacksonville political establishment such as John Rutherford, State Attorney Angela Corey, Public Defender Matt Shirk, Marty Fiorentino, State Rep. Paul Renner, Councilmen Danny Becton, Doyle Carter, Al Ferraro and Sen. Aaron Bean, left the VIP seats and mingled in the crowd before the event, somewhere between the impromptu 5:38 “lock her up” chant and the fifth play of “Time Is On My Side.”

Many Republicans on hand were not interested in talking to the press, for reasons unknown to this scribe.

In his role at the rally, Curry set up the prayer, the pledge, and the requisite remarks from Duval REC chair Cindy Graves, who elicited a spirited “lock her up” chant after saying Clinton “opened up the gates of hell” regarding ISIS.


Also speaking to the crowd: Former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll and Rep. Ted Yoho.

Yoho got another rousing “lock her up” chant when he recounted his story of the Benghazi hearing, where Hillary Clinton said “What difference does it make?”

However, as is the case everywhere else, the speakers were deeply conscious of being the warm-up act for someone who has become the standard bearer of a party radically changed in recent years, certainly since they hit the political scene.

The introductory speakers all served up the red meat, but the crowd let loose with spirited “Trump” and “USA” chants, as if trying to will the program to hurry along.

Curry offered brief comments before Trump, quoting Abraham Lincoln saying “united we stand, divided we fall.”

Curry described himself as trying to “unite Republicans, Democrats, and independents under conservative philosophy.”

“I came in as an outsider and I promised to turn the status quo upside down,” Curry said, before pitching the pension tax to scattered, tepid applause — then saying “Trump will flip the status quo upside down.”

“It’s been good to be your emcee. In a real short time, you’re going to get what you came for,” Curry concluded.

Curry and Trump have a political link: Susie Wiles is Trump’s Florida co-chair and also is involved in the “Yes for Jacksonville” push to extend Jacksonville’s half-cent sales tax for the purposes of paying off the $2.7 billion unfunded actuarial liability.

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


  • Shirley A George

    August 13, 2016 at 2:03 am

    Curry didn’t do himself any favors by standing with a racist divider Donald Trump, I am one of many that believe this.

Comments are closed.


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