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Ju'Coby Pittman [Photo: Dennis Ho/Folio Weekly]

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Rick Scott’s pick for Jacksonville City Council wins in Democratic district

Jax Dems elect Rick Scott appointee to City Council

Voters in Democratic Jacksonville City Council District 8 liked former Gov. Rick Scott‘s appointee enough to elect her to a full term.

Incumbent Ju’Coby Pittman, a Democrat appointed to fill a vacancy in 2018, defeated runoff opponent Tameka Gaines Holly by 15 points (896 votes) on Tuesday.

Gov. Rick Scott chose Pittman in the wake of the suspension of Katrina Brown, who faces a federal fraud trial.

In remarks posted to Facebook  Tuesday, Pittman thanked Scott for the appointment.

Pittman, who runs the Clara White Mission, lost a nail-biter in 2015 to Republican at-large Councilman Sam Newby. Despite that loss, she worked closely with Newby after the election, clearly helping her case for appointment.

Downtown money backed Pittman in the end. By April, Mayor Lenny Curry patron Tom Petway came through, as well as former Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner Wayne Weaver and developer Peter Rummell.

Pittman has not been an especially vocal member of the Council since her appointment, and it remains to be seen what her legislative agenda will be. The vast majority of bills she has introduced have been resolutions honoring various people for civic accomplishments.

Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, congratulated Pittman and the other Democrats who won on Tuesday. “The voters of Jacksonville have spoken! With the victories of Democrats Brenda Priestly Jackson for City Council District 10, Ju’Coby Pittman for City Council District 8 and Tommy Hazouri for At-Large 3, Florida Democrats have an amazing team that will turn Duval blue and take back the White House in 2020.”

Holly was gracious in her brief statement.

“Tonight, the voters of District 8 have spoken. Two years ago, I started this journey and it has definitely been a great race. As a woman of faith and keeping God in the forefront, I’m satisfied with the work my team and I have done. This will not be the last of me, politically. I will continue to serve the residents of District 8 through my everyday work as a community advocate. I congratulate Ms. Pittman and look forward to working with her for the next four years,” Holly said.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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