Rick Scott picks Nick Howland in Jacksonville Special Election
Image via AP.

Rick Scott 2.5.21
There is another major endorsement in the City Council race.

Jacksonville City Council candidate Nick Howland scored a second major endorsement Monday, as U.S. Sen. Rick Scott backed the Republican.

“Jacksonville Voters — Make sure to vote tomorrow for Navy Veteran and Servant Leader (Howland)!” Scott tweeted ahead of Tuesday’s Election Day in the General Election in the at-large Group 3 race. “He will fight to defend our brave law enforcement officers who are under attack from the radical left. This is an important election that we must win!” 

Scott’s endorsement follows that of the man who succeeded him as Governor. Ron DeSantis recorded a robocall for Howland. In the script obtained by Florida Politics, DeSantis contrasts Howland, a law-and-order Republican, with his opponent, “radical leftist” Tracye Polson.

“Hello, this is Gov. Ron DeSantis calling on behalf of the Republican Party of Florida to remind you to vote tomorrow in the Special Election for Nick Howland. Nick is a Navy veteran and businessman who — like me — is a strong supporter of the rule of law and public safety. Nick supports our brave law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe. Nick’s opponent is a radical leftist who openly supports defunding the police and taking officers off the streets! The polls are open tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It’s important that you take the time to vote in this election — it will be a very close race, and every vote counts. Thank you!”

Polson continues to say she does not want to defund the police, but her protests during the closing weeks of the campaign haven’t shaken Republican dedication to that narrative.

The Scott and DeSantis endorsements came after the state’s leading Democratic candidates for Governor came to Jacksonville for Polson.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist visited Jacksonville last week, with state Sen. Annette Taddeo visiting on Saturday and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried appearing on Sunday.

The high-profile campaign cameos from DeSantis and the Democrats serve as a capstone on what has become an expensive race.

Both candidates reported more than $800,000 in combined fundraising through the end of January.

February numbers will be available around Mar. 10, weeks after Tuesday’s General Election.

Turnout is nearing 12%, with Democrats holding a nearly 4,000-vote edge going into Election Day.

So far, Democrats make up 47% of the turnout and Republicans 42%, with NPA voters making up the difference.

With in-person voting Tuesday, Republicans will likely close the gap.

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


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