Daniel Davis, at long last, enters Jacksonville mayoral race
Can Daniel Davis keep up the momentum?

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Jax Chamber CEO has $4M already in a political committee.

The seemingly perpetual pre-candidacy of Daniel Davis in the Jacksonville mayoral race is over, with Davis officially filing Thursday.

Davis, CEO of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, is the fourth Republican in a nine-candidate field. With more than $4 million in the supportive political committee Building a Better Economy, he will be a formidable challenge for his relatively underfunded challengers.

“I’ll take on the tough challenges and seize our biggest opportunities, because the hardworking people of Jacksonville deserve the same chance I had to succeed in this great city,” Davis said in a statement from his campaign. “The ultimate crime fighter is a world-class education, the dignity of a job and access to opportunity for everyone.”

The next leading fundraiser: Jacksonville City Council member LeAnna Gutierrez Cumber has nearly $2.3 million on hand in her Jax First political committee. She also has more than a quarter million dollars in her campaign account.

Democrat Donna Deegan, a former broadcast journalist, is the leading Democratic fundraiser. She has nearly $210,000 in her campaign account and more than $300,000 on hand in her Donna for Duval political committee.

Davis is a former Jacksonville City Councilman and state legislator who has helmed the Chamber for close to a decade. As a candidate, he will likely draw on local and statewide networks of support.

Polling of the field showed that even before Davis entered the race, he was among the top tier of candidates.

A recent survey from the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida showed Davis was in second place even before filing. He drew 11% total support and 25% backing from Republican voters, despite two candidates in the field (Cumber and Al Ferraro) currently belonging to the Jacksonville City Council and seemingly having more visibility to the general public.

Davis was expected to enter the race next week, with a Save the Date message from the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce confirming a launch for the candidate on Sept. 8 at Tom Nehl Trucking on Jacksonville’s Westside.

“Jacksonville grown. Ready to lead,” reads the slogan. The color scheme for the campaign is red, white and blue, and the launch image appears to be a red sun over white water.

The formal entry precedes that date obviously.

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


6 comments

  • No to Davis

    September 1, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    Davis will not win, because of his stance on Confederate Historical Monuments, he wants them moved. We the people who love the history of Jacksonville, will not support anyone who wants to remove the statues, and, believe it or not, their are enough of us to sway any election.

    • JoAnn Jacobs

      September 2, 2022 at 7:11 am

      Let’s see: While I, admittedly, would like to see confederate statues removed I believe that there are other, more important, issues facing mayoral candidates besides removing cold, stone statues. These other issues are actually affecting warm blooded, living human beings. We need to address climate change; underperforming, failing schools; a housing crisis; and a rising murder rate, to name a few.

    • Lollie Dixon

      September 4, 2022 at 8:28 am

      Not all of “we the people” who love our history agree with you. The statues are important and deserve a place in our City, just not public spaces – paid for by all taxpayers. They’re offensive to the majority of our population, which is why some have been moved. The debate about others is about the cost.

  • Dee

    September 1, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    I do not think there are enough people running out to vote for a candidate that is not pro-choice to give him a win.

  • James Wade

    September 2, 2022 at 9:24 am

    Let’s just do whatever it takes to keep Deegan from winning this race.

  • Lollie Dixon

    September 4, 2022 at 8:13 am

    Mr. Davis has been a highly successful leader at the Chamber – for large and small business and the people of this City, and he will make a great Mayor. Take the time to understand what the Chamber does and how many jobs have come to Jax since Davis took the lead. He’s an empathetic, intelligent, fair and thoughtful leader. A far cry from current City leadership. Get to know him over the next 6 months – it won’t be hard to do!

Comments are closed.


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