Matt Carlucci running for Jacksonville Mayor
Can Carlucci match Daniel Davis in the money race?

Matt Carlucci
Open seat, crowded field likely.

The 2023 race for Jacksonville Mayor has begun, with Republican Matt Carlucci announcing on Thursday a run for Jacksonville Mayor.

Carlucci, elected to the City Council with roughly 70% of the vote in 2019, was the leading fundraiser among City Council candidates in that cycle.

He had served on the City Council before and currently serves as Finance Chair. A mayoral race for Carlucci is not a surprise, but the timing may seem to some to be early.

Republican Mayor Lenny Curry still has two and a half years to go in office.

The first-term Republican from Jacksonville’s Southside returned to the City Council after a long absence and spent much of 2020 functioning and posturing as a brake on the Mayor’s Office.

It helped that he was named chair of the City Council Finance Committee, sure, but Carlucci speaks from a place of institutional knowledge, both from his previous service on the Council and his family legacy.

He had previously disclaimed interest in running for Mayor in 2023, but he clearly sees himself in the tradition of men like Jake Godbold, both Old Jacksonville scions who see themselves as community trustees.

The question we posed as the year began: “Could Carlucci be Jacksonville’s Joe Biden in the upcoming mayoral campaign, that old head who offers a contrast to the of-the-moment Tallahassee-style Republicanism that characterized recent years in City Hall?”

He has an easier time raising money than lots of folks, for what that’s worth. And he will be positioned to offer an inside-the-tent institutional critique, one which came to a head during Jacksonville’s Lot J debate, when Carlucci was a no on the proposition because it gave too much to the Jaguars and too few guarantees to the city.

Mayor Curry was on local radio this week, warning about politics rearing its head in the discussion and urging people to watch no votes for their next moves.

Curry demurred statement, but top aide Jordan Elsbury offered the view from Suite 400.

“In the midst of a global pandemic the Mayor is remaining laser focused on prioritizing the safety of our people. Unfortunate that individuals are putting themselves and their political futures ahead of that,” Elsbury lamented.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. 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 [email protected]


4 comments

  • Bruce Nolan

    January 14, 2021 at 11:21 am

    The question is whether Matt will run as a D or an R.

    He is a registered R, but liberally contributes to D candidates and never met a tax that he didn’t think needed raising.

  • Frankie M.

    January 14, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    Mayor Curry put Lot J ahead of the pandemic. Talk about tone deaf. Will raging cajun Jordan Elsbury be making a run on Lenny’s coattails? Can’t wait to see that!

    Shot out to Lenny for announcing Carlucci’s run for mayor yesterday!! Any press is good press plus it’s never too early to start raising money. It’s politics…it’s about the $$. Isn’t that what you always say AG? You criticized Brosche for jumping in too late last time…can’t have it both ways.

  • Cheryl Suggs

    January 15, 2021 at 7:18 am

    Matt Carlucci is running in the tradition of former Mayor Jake Godbold. Jake was the best Mayor the city ever had and did more for Jax than any mayor. What Carlucci has is common with Jake is a deep and abiding love for our city & its people. Observing Carlucci over the years, he is a man of obvious integrity—we won’t see him selling taxpayers down the river to line Kahn’s pockets as well as the pockets of some of Kahn’s supporters! Carlucci also has a deep knowledge of Jacksonville and our history, both civil and political.
    And no, the man is not a personal friend! I’ve just observed him as a politician over the years. Also, I am a Conservative Republican. Jake and Carlucci, Democrats. So, that dog won’t hunt either, people!

  • Cheryl Suggs

    January 15, 2021 at 7:22 am

    Correction. I identified Carlucci as a Democrat when he is, in fact, a Republican. My sincerest apologies.
    The mayoral race is non-partisan.

Comments are closed.


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