State Rep. Jason Fischer withdrew Friday from the Duval County Property Appraiser race, a likely prelude for the Jacksonville Republican’s entry into the race in Florida’s 4th Congressional District.
Fischer’s exit means that Jacksonville City Councilman Danny Becton, also a Republican, is the only candidate in the Property Appraiser contest. This is the latest move in what has been an eventful 2022 campaign cycle for Fischer, who is in his third term representing the current HD 16 in southern Duval County.
Fischer folded his Senate campaign last summer, endorsing state Rep. Clay Yarborough after Senate Republicans coalesced around the incumbent from HD 12, closing his path and compelling the run for the local office.
Fischer has fundraised aggressively, as his plan for years was to pursue state Sen. Aaron Bean’s Senate seat. Between his campaign account and two political committees, Fischer has roughly $1 million on hand.
Fischer served a term on the Duval County School Board before running for the House in 2016. He was backed strongly by Mayor Lenny Curry, who endorsed Fischer and robocalled on his behalf in what was a pivotal August Primary against political veteran Dick Kravitz.
If Fischer does get into the CD 4 race, he will be running in new territory. That district includes Clay County, Nassau County and northern and western Duval County, and 65% of the Republican Primary base is not in Duval. Fischer has never represented constituents outside of Jacksonville’s Southside.
CD 4 is drawn to be decided in the GOP Primary. In their statewide races in 2018 and 2020, Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump carried the district with roughly 52% of the vote.
Other candidates are looking at this race. Republican Erick Aguilar mustered just 20% of the vote in a run in CD 4 when it included southern Duval County against U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, and the Navy veteran will run in the new district. Bean, of Fernandina Beach, will likely be the establishment favorite should he run as expected.