The most competitive race in Northeast Florida this August is in Senate District 5, where two big-name Democrats are slugging it out for the chance to succeed Audrey Gibson in Tallahassee.
On Friday, one of the most significant local endorsements went the way of state Rep. Tracie Davis. The JAXBIZ political arm of the Chamber selected Avis over the other Democrat on the ballot, Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney.
“Tracie has built strong relationships in Tallahassee across party lines. She’s been a strong advocate for small businesses and has represented our city well for the past six years,” JAXBIZ Board Chair Abel Harding said. “We look forward to continuing to work with her in the state Senate.”
Davis is in her third term in Tallahassee, representing House District 13. She replaced former Rep. Reggie Fullwood as the candidate during the 2016 General Election, and was never seriously challenged after that, until this Primary election.
Thus far, Gaffney (who was a Republican until his run for the City Council in 2015) has demonstrated the most momentum in the race, with a local television spot on broadcast for the last couple of weeks.
He also has won the fundraising battle so far, but that edge has narrowed toward functional parity as the campaign has progressed.
Gaffney retains roughly $330,000 on hand as of the end of June between his campaign account and the supportive Friends of Reggie Gaffney political committee. All told, he has raised roughly $580,000 for this race.
Non-Democratic candidates also have qualified, and their main effect in this heavily Democratic district will be to close the Primary.
Write-in Patrick Lee Cooper and Republican Binod Kumar are both running.