A former Democratic nominee for the state Legislature has filed to replace the late Jacksonville City Council member Tommy Hazouri.
Tracye Polson, who ran a very competitive race in 2018 in Westside Jacksonville’s House District 15, is the second candidate running for the open seat in At Large Group 3.
The filing became visible on the Duval County Supervisor of Elections site Thursday, the day of Hazouri’s funeral, but was filed the day prior.
Polson joins another Democrat, James “Coach” Jacobs, in that race. Jacobs has run before, and just like previous runs for the seat, he is likely undercapitalized for a countywide campaign. He has raised under $800 so far.
Fundraising is not Polson’s problem. She was a very strong fundraiser and self-financing candidate both in 2018, forcing Republicans to work to retain a Democratic plurality seat that, for whatever reason, Democrats hadn’t competed for in recent years. Between Polson, winner Wyman Duggan, and Primary candidates, more than $1 million was spent in that 2018 cycle.
Duggan benefited from more than $100,000 in support from the Republican Party of Florida, which funded attack ads, including a bristling spot associating Polson with drum circles, flag burners, and other elements of The Resistance, a sign of how seriously Polson was taken.
Republicans are expected to file for Hazouri’s seat, with a number of names already floated. However, none of them have the campaign experience Polson does. While those Republicans will joust ahead of qualifying and ahead of the December “First Election,” they no doubt will come together for the General Election in February, where Polson is poised to make the runoff in a Democratic-plurality Duval County.
On Tuesday, the City Council declared a vacancy for Hazouri’s former at-large seat, setting forth a process to set up a Special Election to fill the seat within six months, with considerable dialogue about the spirited process ahead.
“We anticipate there will be more than two or three people running for the seat,” said Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan. “It’s more likely to be a runoff than not.”