Jacksonville City Council member LeAnna Cumber opened a campaign account Thursday, making official her expected bid for Mayor in 2023.
Cumber is the fifth candidate overall — and second Republican — to enter the race to replace term-limited Lenny Curry.
Asked for comment about her candidacy Thursday night, Cumber said she would make an official announcement at 3 p.m. Monday. But she has been laying the groundwork for this run for some time.
Cumber will enter the race already proven to be a strong fundraiser. Her JAX First political committee has raised north of $2 million, with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry among those who have hosted fundraisers for Cumber.
Cumber has deep roots in South Florida and, along with her husband, Husein, has extensive national connections. Husein Cumber has been a prodigious fundraiser going back as far as the George W. Bush re-election campaign.
Official candidates thus far have struggled to gain traction with donors, which means Cumber is set to instantly become the most dominant fundraiser in the race.
The leading official fundraiser is still Democrat Donna Deegan, who has raised more than $136,000 in hard money, and roughly $265,000 on hand in her Donna for Duval political committee.
Other official candidates are far behind. Republican Al Ferraro, a current City Council Member, raised $880 in hard money in February, giving him roughly $5,100 on hand. He has another $117,000 in the Keep It Real Jax political committee, which has not secured a donation since last September.
NPA candidates aren’t doing any better. Perennial candidate Omega Allen has raised a little more than $6,000, with $400 of that coming in February. And perpetual candidate Darcy Richardson hasn’t shown any financial activity.
The leading fundraiser is a political committee associated with Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce CEO Daniel Davis. The Building a Better Economy PC raised another $150,000 last month, with the influential Mori Hosseini stroking a check, the latest sign that statewide players like the former legislator from the Westside.
That committee has roughly $3.6 million on hand.
Cumber joined the Council in 2019, winning the District 5 race without opposition.
Cumber hasn’t polled particularly well as a prospective candidate. A University of North Florida poll had her with 9% support, behind Deegan at 41% and Davis at 20%, but above Ferraro at 7%. However, that was up from 3% in a previous poll from the same outlet.
The race still isn’t complete, however. Davis will officially enter sooner or later, while there are expectations another Democrat will enter the race. Qualifying is in January, so there is plenty of time for people to make moves.
Jacksonville’s First Election is March 21, 2023.
March 17, 2022 at 10:52 pm
What has she done besides take up space on the council?
March 18, 2022 at 2:33 am
All of the Republican candidates for either city council or other statewide offices, or any future in politics in North east Florida, know that if they vote to remove the Confederate Monuments, their political career will be over.. With Democrats having more voters, Republican voters will just vote for the Democrats, or just stay home. so, all of you Republican city council members, it would behoove you to vote in committee and in the vote in front of the full city council, to keep the monuments where they are.
March 21, 2022 at 8:28 pm
Their political careers will only be over with the racist, Putin loving Trump supporters you mean!
March 18, 2022 at 10:13 pm
I am sorry Jacksonville does not need a desantis wanna be as mayor. It’s time for Jacksonville to move forward not backwards.
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