‘Flipping this seat’: Duval GOP all in on Nick Howland City Council campaign

Howland Black
'We are on the cusp of flipping this seat.'

Voting already is underway in the Jacksonville City Council Special Election, and Republicans are shoring up their candidate down the homestretch.

On Wednesday, the Republican Party of Duval County announced a $50,000 donation to Nick Howland, which is the most state law allows.

A local political party has never done this before in Jacksonville, and the fact that it happened this time is a testament to the unique circumstances of the Special Election, which sees no other races on the ballot Feb. 22.

Dean Black, chair of the Duval County Republicans, expressed confidence in a statement while taking a shot at Howland’s Democratic opponent, Tracye Polson.

“We are on the cusp of flipping this seat,” Black said. “I believe that with our nominee Nick Howland’s clear momentum, our enthusiastic Republican voters in Jacksonville, and with today’s historic investment, we will defeat radical leftist Tracye ‘Defund the Police’ Polson!”

Polson has said she does not want to “defund the police.”

“I’d like to thank Dean Black and the Duval GOP for their unrelenting support,” Howland added. “Our campaign has clear momentum and I look forward to carrying our message to every part of our city. A message of keeping our streets safe by supporting our first responders, supporting Jacksonville’s small businesses and providing a high quality of life for all neighborhoods.”

Expect a Republican turnout operation ahead of the election as well.

Howland and Polson advanced to the General Election after being the top two finishers in the first election in December. Polson came in first by the thinnest of margins with 36.7% of the vote, compared to Howland’s 35.9%. The campaign has been a relatively low-wattage affair, not surprising given that just one City Council seat is up for grabs.

The seat was previously occupied by Democrat Tommy Hazouri, a former Mayor of the city who passed away last year during his second term. The winner of this election will fill the unexpired term, serving through June 2023.

As of Wednesday afternoon, almost 31,000 people have voted by mail. Nearly 46% of those voters are Democrats, with Republicans making up roughly 41% of the vote.

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


  • Charles

    February 2, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    Wow – does this qualify as political advertising
    If not it should

  • conservative

    February 3, 2022 at 1:57 am

    Polson is a left wing socialist. She is supported by Ben Frazier, that is all I need to vote for Nick Howland.

    • Frankie M.

      February 3, 2022 at 4:20 pm

      Ben Frazier really? She’s got my vote then. Better than that empty suit who only knows 3 words: police, education, business. After he wins he can go piss on Tommy’s grave.

  • Frankie's nasty

    February 3, 2022 at 9:48 pm

    wow, Frankie, your so nasty

  • Michael Hoffmann

    February 5, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    Michael Hoffmann
    3 minutes ago
    Nick Howland might be delusionary as his campaign literature pits him against Kamala Harris and Hilary Clinton. I guess he’s too bashful to name his own daddy, DJT.

    Howland criticizes his Duval opponent Tracye Polson for taking $10,000 in donations from out of state. I checked Howland’s campaign records on the elections office website and as of Jan. 2022 Howland had taken 70 donations of $1000 or more. Over a dozen of these came from separate PACs located at the same Tallahassee address. Howland, if elected will take a Council seat ethically crippled with multiple IOUs tainted by the Dark Money that’s now the coin of the realm in Trumpworld.

    The local TV news footage his campaign has excerpted for TV ads targeting Polson is used out of context. The station that was the source of the news footage (WJXT) did a fact check of this ad and concluded Howland’s ad distorted what Polson actually said.

    Attempting to clarify his position, Howland had this to say during TV 4’s fact check: For every mental health professional hired, one less police officer can be hired. Eight years under Lenny Curry has brought forth from the Council eight years of steadily increasing funding for the JSO. Big Mama says we can hire both mental health professionals and police officers, as necessary.

    Howland apparently has not heard the JSO regularly say that the downtown jail is the largest mental facility in the county. Employment of mental health professionals and eventually a secured mental facility in the downtown area, such as Miami is building, benefits police officers and improves policing as the current no-win mental-health cases can be shared with or re-directed to mental health professionals.

    Howland has touted his activity with the Fire Watch veteran suicide prevention program, but does not recognize the value for citizens and police of deploying mental health professionals to work in tandem with JSO. It’s a telling sign tha Howland will do anything to win — include betraying his own principles.

Comments are closed.


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