Jacksonville City Council member LeAnna Gutierrez Cumber’s bid for Mayor picked up a stack of endorsements from area faith leaders this week.
The set includes Heritage Christian Center pastors Dr. James White and Dr. Terresa White, Divine Power Missionary Baptist Church pastor Steve Wilson, Thankful Missionary Baptist Church pastor Phillip Mercer and New Beginnings Ministries of Jacksonville pastor Dr. Michael J. Hawk.
“In a day when true courage and leadership are needed, we believe LeAnna has the experience, vision, and compassion necessary to move our city forward,” James and Terresa White said.
Hawk added, “As an attorney who works on transportation infrastructure projects and a former public school teacher, LeAnna Cumber is clearly the best person for Mayor of Jacksonville. She’s intelligent and resourceful. And I’m proud to endorse her.”
And Mercer said, “Beyond a doubt, LeAnna Cumber is the most qualified person to be the next Mayor of Jacksonville. As a teacher, a lawyer, a businesswoman, and a mother of two children, LeAnna has what it takes. In all she does, LeAnna exemplifies honesty, fairness, and thoughtfulness. I believe she will use those qualities to create a better Jacksonville for all.”
The new endorsements add to a list of backers that includes fellow Jacksonville City Council member Randy DeFoor, Duval County Property Appraiser Jerry Holland and the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, among others.
“I’m honored to receive the endorsement and support from these respected Faith Leaders. I’m looking forward to working with them as we work to move our city in the right direction,” Cumber said.
Cumber, a Republican in her first term on council, is one of several candidates vying to replace term-limited Mayor Lenny Curry next year. Her GOP competition includes Jax Chamber CEO Daniel Davis and second-term Jacksonville City Council member Al Ferraro.
With more than $3 million raised between her campaign and JAX First political committee, Cumber had been the leading fundraiser in the race prior to Davis’ entry, since he brought $4 million in committee cash with him when signed up to run last month.
Still, Cumber’s fundraising efforts have not lost momentum. According to finance reports running through Sept. 23, Cumber’s committee raised an additional $207,950 in the two weeks after Davis’ formal entry.
The leading Democrat in the race, Donna Deegan, is well behind the GOP pack with about $680,000 in overall fundraising.