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Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry talks the rise, and fall, of the Jacksonville RNC


Lenny Curry, Brian Ballard helm Republican National Convention host committee

Big names, locally and statewide.

The Republican National Convention rolled out its 2020 host committee, and heading it up are Jacksonville’s GOP Mayor and Florida’s best D.C.-connected lobbyist.

“Community and business leaders from here in Jacksonville and across the Sunshine State are sharing their time, talent and experience to ensure Jacksonville is able to host a successful convention for our visitors on this expedited timeframe,” said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, co-chair of the Jacksonville 2020 Host Committee.

“We are thrilled to host the Republican National Convention this August and look forward to sharing with the rest of the country the things that make Jacksonville, and our people, so special.”

“Florida has long been an international destination for visitors from around the world and played host to premier events and conventions including Super Bowls and the 2012 Republican National Convention,” said Brian Ballard, President of Ballard Partners and Jacksonville 2020 Host Committee Co-chair.

“Florida’s First Coast is no stranger to welcoming an international spotlight and I am honored to be part of this team,” Ballard added.

The committee membership includes a mix of famous-for-Jacksonville types with statewide Republicans, including Ballard’s own associate, former Attorney General Pam Bondi.

U.S. Reps. John Rutherford and Michael Waltz are also included.

Also in the mix: the current and incoming leadership for the Florida House and Senate including Sens. Bill Galvano and Wilton Simpson, along with Reps. Jose Oliva and Chris Sprowls.

One step below leadership, the powerful budget chairs, Sen. Rob Bradley and Rep. Travis Cummings will represent Clay County.

Carol Dover, head of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, is also on the committee.

Another committee members include Fernando Acosta-Rua, president of Pet Paradise;  Robert Coker of U.S. Sugar; Andy Allen of Corner Lot Properties; Max Alvarez of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors; John BakerEd BurrTom PetwayKent Stermon and John Rood, key donors and rainmakers for Mayor Curry and other regional politicians.

They will be joined by Michael Corrigan, CEO of Visit Jacksonville; J. David & Jodi Coxwell; JAXUSA Partnership President Aundra Wallace; JAX Chamber CEO Daniel Davis;  Jacksonville Transportation Authority head Nat Ford; UF Health CEO Leon HaleyJosh Garrison of Miranda Contracting; Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin of the Potter’s House International Ministries; and Rick Morales of the Morales Construction Company.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at

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