On Tuesday night, Brenda Priestly-Jackson thumped by a nearly 2-to-1 margin Celestine Mills in the Jacksonville City Council District 10 race.
Priestly-Jackson drew 3,344 votes (65,48 percent) compared to Mills’ 1,763 (34.52 percent).
Priestly-Jackson nearly won the whole thing outright in March, and every defeated opponent endorsed her soon thereafter.
For Priestly-Jackson, a former Duval County School Board chair, the win caps off nearly a year of seeking the seat, both on the campaign trail and in court.
In 2018, after Republican Terrance Freeman was appointed to fill the unexpired term of suspended incumbent Democrat Reggie Brown by Gov. Rick Scott, Priestly-Jackson sued.
Priestly-Jackson and other Democrats charged that Freeman, who established residency in the district by renting two rooms in a private home the day he was appointed, was not a legitimate pick because he moved to Northwest Jacksonville solely to serve on the Council.
The contention was that at the time the Governor’s appointment became official, Freeman still homesteaded and was registered to vote in Mandarin.
However, the city and state contended Freeman was not a Councilman until his swearing-in ceremony, and ultimately the legal challenge failed.
While Priestly-Jackson did not prevail in court, her campaign was a different matter.
“I grew up in this community … I’m a part of this community,” Priestly-Jackson said at one forum.
She vowed that she and her constituents will “serve together.”
She noted that the promises of Consolidation have not been “honored,” a point often made by former Councilman Brown.
“In District 10, we want the same thing they have in 14 or 7,” she said. “The same resources.”
In an irony, Priestly-Jackson and Councilman Freeman will serve together, the legal imbroglio of 2018 in the rearview mirror.
For her part, the newly elected Councilwoman is savoring the victory.
Sometimes I am a night owl and on this night I am humbled, grateful and awed by our support to serve as the District 10 council member elect. It’s been an intense and inspiring run. Together we aspire and together we will serve. #thankyouD10neighbors #EEQ4district10
— B.A.Priestly Jackson (@Priestjax) May 15, 2019