Dueling endorsements enlivened the narrative Tuesday in the Jacksonville City Council At Large 3 Special Election.
Both Democrat Tracye Polson and Republican Nick Howland trumpeted endorsements that, while not unexpected, show each is the establishment candidate of their party in the race to fill the remainder of Tommy Hazouri‘s unexpired term.
Polson’s team pushed out an endorsement Tuesday afternoon from Duval County School Board member Warren Jones.
“I endorse Dr. Tracye Polson for City Council At-Large Group 3. As a social worker, Tracye knows our children and families’ needs well and will be a trustworthy advocate for Jacksonville. She’s on the ground level of important issues like community health and education, where she thrives with attentive listening and intentional problem-solving. I know she’ll be a great councilwoman for our city,” Jones said.
“Warren knows this City, our issues, and our potential better than most elected officials. I am so honored to gain the support of someone who knows Tommy’s work ethic and love for this city so well, and I am prepared to carry on that legacy. l look forward to working together to make this amazing place better for all Jacksonville families,” Polson responded.
Polson ran for state House in 2018, and her endorsements reflect a track record as a viable candidate. The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, the National Organization for Women, Sen. Audrey Gibson, Reps. Tracie Davis and Angie Nixon, and City Council member Garrett Dennis have already endorsed her well ahead of the Dec. 7 First Election.
Jones’ endorsement was well-timed, roughly coinciding with one for Howland from the Northeast Florida Builders Association.
“Mr. Howland has the experience to be a leader on the Jacksonville City Council.” said Keith Ward, 2021 president of NEFBA. “He has a history of service to the community and recognizes the significance of the construction industry to the ongoing success of our city.”
Howland continues to get strong endorsements. Law enforcement backs him, including Jacksonville’s chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, Sheriff Mike Williams and former Sheriff and current Congressman John Rutherford. A half dozen Republicans currently on the City Council have also backed Howland.
One other Republican, Howland “Howdy” Russell, is in the race. Democrat James Jacobs is also running.
If no candidate wins a majority during the first balloting on Dec. 7, the top two finishers move on to a General Election on Feb. 22, regardless of party. Two Republicans could emerge from the First Election, or two Democrats, or one candidate from each party.
All candidates in the race must live in At Large Group 3, but voters can cast a ballot for whoever they want in both elections. There are no closed one-party Primaries during either election.
The first campaign finance filings in this race are due Nov. 10, encompassing all fundraising through the end of October.