Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis might have been considered by some to be a political “walking dead man” after his showdown at the Soul Food Bistro with Mayor Lenny Curry.
But Dennis sees it differently.
“That was a wake-up call for our mayor,” Dennis said.
As he told a crowd of Jacksonville Democrats Monday evening, the Duval Democrats are now a “party of relevance,” and colleagues from Northwest Jacksonville (Reggie Gaffney, Katrina Brown, and Reggie Brown) are united with him — and against Curry, who deliberately eclipsed Dennis by calling a presser with Gaffney, Brown, and Brown in Dennis’ district without inviting Dennis.
“We have been spectators for 20 years in Jacksonville, but things are changing. We are back in the game,” Dennis said, advising Democrats not to “turn their guns on each other” but to “stand united as we fight, you know who we’re fighting, down at City Hall.”
“A couple of weeks ago, someone tried to divide us, but it didn’t work,” Dennis said. “There’s been a major disconnect” with a mayor who “has lost touch with reality.”
The disconnect was on issues, including children’s programs and fighting crime, Dennis said. And especially on JEA.
Privatization, Dennis said, would be “bad for our city … a cover for a shortfall for a bad pension plan that we were all duped into passing.”
Dennis will file legislation Wednesday for a JEA straw poll option, he said.
Also of note: Dennis claims there is a “bounty” on five Council members from the mayor’s office.
“The mayor, who we all know is a bully, has bounties on five Council members’ heads.”
Those Councilors: President Anna Brosche and Danny Becton, two Republicans, along with Democrats Dennis, Reggie Gaffney, and Katrina Brown.
“We cannot turn the gun on each other,” Dennis said. “We must point the gun at the enemy.”
With a mysterious poll in the field gauging impressions of JEA privatization and Curry versus opponents (including Brosche and Dennis), what is clear is that the political gamesmanship will go both ways at least through the 2019 city elections.