A prominent national group supporting the election of military veterans to public office weighed into a Jacksonville City Council race Wednesday.
VoteVets, a self-styled “progressive” group that touts endorsements of both Democrats and Republicans, backs Democrat Jimmy Peluso in Jacksonville City Council District 14.
“Having our veterans represented in office could not be more critical than it is now,” said VoteVets National Field Director, Rick Hegdahl.
“We know that veterans like Jimmy have the knowledge garnered from a wide range of experiences that are so sorely needed at every level of our government. Because we believe in Jimmy’s ability and commitment to lead, we are pleased to select him as a VoteVets PAC Emerging Leader,” Hegdahl added.
Peluso, running a thus-far distant third in the money race behind Republican Randy DeFoor and Democrat Sunny Gettinger, intends to message strongly around his military background, as he did in this endorsement release.
“As a veteran,” Peluso said, “one of the most rewarding aspects of this campaign has been the strong outpouring of support from my military friends and family. Shipmates from my first sea tour have donated, come out to events, and have shared our campaign’s message to fellow veterans.”
“I am honored to have the support of VoteVets and to join the thousands of veterans across the country who are running for office. Public service is a calling and I was proud to wear my uniform for six years,” Peluso said, adding that “now I’m ready to serve the city and the people of Jacksonville.”
Five candidates total are vying for what will be an open seat in the Jacksonville district that runs from Riverside to the Naval Air Station. In addition to the aforementioned three, longshot Republicans Earl Testy and Henry Mooneyhan are in the mix.
The first election, which involves all five, is in March 2019. If no one gets a simple majority of votes, the top two finishers move to a runoff in May.