LeAnna Cumber fundraising in D.C. ahead of potential Jacksonville mayoral bid
LeAnna Cumber. Image via Dennis Ho

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National interest emerges in the 2023 Jacksonville city elections.

As she explores a run for Jacksonville Mayor, City Council member LeAnna Cumber continues to amass funds for her political committee.

Monday will see another high-profile fundraising event for her JAX First political committee, one loaded with a rundown of hosts that demonstrate Cumber’s ties to national conservative figures.

Among the major names on the host committee: former U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham of California; Jesse Panuccio, formerly of the Donald Trump Justice Department and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity under then-Gov. Rick Scott; and Brian McCormick, former Chief of Staff for former Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

The event will be held at the home of Jim Ray, who was previously a senior advisor to the U.S. Transportation Department under then-Secretary Elaine Chao. The host committee offers further evidence Cumber may have inroads into DC other candidates can’t match, which likely will help to spur a third strong month of fundraising in a row.

Cumber’s JAX First Committee brought in $359,771 in October. That follows a $961,000 debut in September, meaning that after just two months as an active pre-candidate, she had $1.2 million for whatever may come next.

No filed candidates have more money as of now. And only one other potential candidate eclipses her haul thus far: Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce CEO Daniel Davis, also a Republican.

Davis’ Building a Better Economy political committee brought in $274,000 in October, and now has nearly $3 million on hand.

Filed Republican candidates have found fundraising to be a tougher slog of late.

Council member Matt Carlucci brought in just $5,500 in October to his Next Generation Jax political committee. That account has just under $700,000 in it. He has roughly $242,000 in his campaign account, raising $10,500 in October and spending more than $17,000 of it.

Jacksonville City Council member Al Ferraro has also struggled recently.

Ferraro raised just $4.09 to his campaign account in October, interest from VyStar. He has a little less than $50,000 in hard money. His political committee was also dormant except for interest, stuck at roughly $117,000.

Democrats hold a registration advantage in Duval County, yet only one is running so far. Former television newscaster Donna Deegan finally opened her campaign account this month, after slow fundraising in recent months to her Donna for Duval political committee.

October saw just over $30,000 in contributions, suggesting that even after four months as a pre-candidate, the fundraising did not manifest without a formal campaign structure. The account has roughly $190,000 cash on hand.

Fundraising has not started for independent candidates Omega AllenRichard Danford and Darcy Richardson, meanwhile. They could complicate the 2023 field if they qualify for the ballot.

Allen has run for Mayor twice before, finishing third in a four-way race in 2019. Danford is the CEO of the Jacksonville Urban League. Richardson is a serial third-party candidate for offices up and down the ballot.

The lopsided GOP field is especially interesting given a Democratic registration edge. A total of 264,851 Democrats are registered to vote in Duval County, compared to just 227,177 registered Republicans.

More candidates could emerge with more than a year to go before the real campaigning begins. Qualifying week runs Jan. 9-13, 2023.

The First Election, which pits all qualified candidates against each other, is March 21, 2023. Assuming no one in the field gets more than 50% of the vote, the General Election is May 16, 2023.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Evan Miller

    November 29, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    Liberals are, as liberals do.

  • Libby Price

    November 30, 2021 at 11:05 am

    I see Shad Kahn is on the Host list. That should say everything.

    • Libby Price

      November 30, 2021 at 11:35 am

      Read name wrong on earlier statement. Not Shad Kahn

  • Matthew Lusk

    December 1, 2021 at 6:34 am

    Rick Perry is a liberal global RINO!

Comments are closed.


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