March fundraising in the 2023 race for Jacksonville Mayor reveals a race where contours are emerging, with one candidate drawing from Democrats as well as Republicans and continuing consistent fundraising from a wide range of community leaders and the like.
Yet despite this bipartisan support, it still may not be enough to overcome the efforts of a candidate who has yet to file, but whose prodigious fundraising and strong profile threaten to overshadow the early field.
Jacksonville City Council member Matt Carlucci continued steady fundraising, with $106,000 raised in March between his campaign account and his Next Generation Jax political committee. The committee has roughly $450,000 on hand, along with roughly $187,000 in hard money. But the story for Carlucci might be the names on the checks.
Current Council colleague Randy DeFoor, a Republican, maxed out, with a host of former Council members doling out also. Scott Wilson and Steve Joost, both Republicans on the outs with the Mayor’s Office, did, as did John Crescimbeni, a Democrat.
The Duval Democrats have yet to find a candidate to run for Mayor. And Crescimbeni is not the first nor the last Democrat to fall in behind Carlucci, a moderate throwback Republican and a known commodity.
The longer Democrats wait, the less viable a candidate under their label is, despite the party continuing to build its registration advantage over Republicans in the county at large.
Carlucci, running from the Council dais and armed with the prerogative of the chair of the Finance Committee, also enjoys fairly uncritical earned media coverage. And he will need it, if expectations that another former Republican City Councilman is nearing his own run for Mayor come to pass.
“Building a Better Economy,” the political committee associated with likely candidate Daniel Davis, continues to bring in the kinds of numbers that may discourage other candidates. The report is still be finalized, but expectations are that March will add another $275,000 or so to the tally.
Davis has a strong resume. He is a former City Council President, former state Representative and current Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce President.
However, Davis is still not a candidate. But the committee he chairs has raised roughly $1.9 million since the first of the year.
While Davis hasn’t filed to run, one of Carlucci’s current colleagues, Al Ferraro, opened a campaign account in March. His fundraising report debut will surface in the next few days.