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Jacksonville broadcast media legend Donna Deegan runs for Congress.

Jax

JTA ‘Making Moves’ gig over for Donna Deegan

JTA said she was just a freelancer, wouldn’t be back.

Donna Deegan, who last week launched her campaign for Congress, will be giving up a freelance TV gig to chase that dream.

Deegan, a Democrat running for her party’s nomination in Florida’s 4th Congressional District, had hosted a show put on by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority.

Making Moves was already an established franchise when Deegan, a former local news anchor of long standing, took over hosting duties in 2014 in a move widely reported at the time.

“Donna Deegan returning to television in Jacksonville,” a headline read.

JTA spokesman David Cawton told us Friday afternoon that Deegan was “never an employee at the JTA, just a freelancer for the Making Moves show that airs once a month.”

JTA did not know Deegan was running for office, Cawton said. And she won’t be back on air now that she is an active candidate.

The low-key “Making Moves” show, which is a sympathetic in-house presentation extolling JTA achievements and initiatives, presents a real contrast to the sizzling start for Deegan’s candidacy.

In her first 24 hours as a candidate, she raised $85,000.

Deegan is already outpacing previous candidates in the district, Ges Selmont and David Bruderly, who raised $73,837 and $38,128 respectively.

Selmont and Bruderly likely would not have been nominees in more competitive districts.

GOP voters comprise 286,013 of the district’s 577,173 registered voters, compared to 155,073 Democrats, with independents and third party registrants making up the balance.

Because of those numbers, Democratic attempts to recruit candidates with resumes of political achievement failed over the years, until Deegan launched her campaign.

Florida’s 4th Congressional District includes Nassau County, a gerrymandered chunk of Duval, and northern St. Johns County. It has been Republican since maps drawn after the 1990 census.

The district evolved from what was Blue Dog Democrat U.S. Rep. Charlie Bennett‘s district for decades, with Republican Reps. Tillie Fowler and Ander Crenshaw combining to serve nearly a quarter-century before Crenshaw retired in 2016.

Whether or not Deegan can overcome the political reality of a Republican registration advantage is unknown. But at least as long as she is running for office, she won’t be messaging on Jacksonville Transportation Authority issues.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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