Jacksonville City Councilwoman Anna Brosche qualified for Mayor shortly before noon Friday. And since then, incumbent Lenny Curry has rolled out a half dozen endorsements.
The biggest endorsement: Sheriff Mike Williams, who has been a reliable ally for Curry during each man’s first term.
“Mayor Curry has been a strong partner in the fight against violent crime and gone above and beyond in his commitment to the men and women of law enforcement. Mayor Curry has earned our respect and he has my strong support,” Williams said.
Curry has hired more police officers, ensured equipment upgrades, and resolved (at least in the short term) the pension crisis that threatened to capsize Jacksonville financially earlier this decade.
Brosche has described the “Curry crime wave,” lamenting the city’s murder rate. Williams discounts her critiques.
“Council Member Brosche’s remarks attempting to politicize drug and gang violence in our city are false. I am particularly disappointed since during her time as an elected official Council Member Brosche never once reached out to me to discuss ways to fight crime and reduce violence in our city. Four years of ignoring the realities of protecting Jacksonville citizens hardly qualifies her as a leading voice on this life-and-death issue,” Williams said.
Williams’ endorsement comes after a collective communique from Council President Aaron Bowman and colleagues Lori Boyer, Bill Gulliford, Tommy Hazouri, Sam Newby earlier Friday afternoon.
“Each of us has the privilege to serve Jacksonville in a leadership position. We know what it takes to effectively lead people, earn the respect of those you serve with, and encourage collaboration and cooperation to bring results for those who we represent. That is the leadership style of Lenny Curry and why we endorse his re-election as our mayor,” the statement said.
“We have also served in public office with Councilmember Brosche and see the campaign she’s announced today as simply the latest demonstration of leadership failure. After spending months sowing division and conflict in City Council, she now wants that negativity spread citywide,” the Councilors add.
“As Council President the agenda she promised was almost completely unrealized. As a Councilmember, Brosche has been absent from important efforts, most recently a bipartisan push to make Jacksonville safer,” the message continues.
“Being absent from the most important discussions of our city’s future is not the way to see a brighter future for Jacksonville. As our mayor, Lenny Curry is present and leading. Whether it’s on the issue of public safety, a solution for the pension crisis to fortify our financial future, or a focus on job creation and economic development, Lenny Curry leads,” the statement concludes.
Florida Politics asked Brosche about these endorsements of Curry from her colleagues.
“I’m proud of my presidency and the things that we accomplished,” Brosche said.
When asked what the greatest accomplishment of her presidency was, Brosche moved to the next question.