Cross-party endorsements continue in the Jacksonville Sheriff’s race, with a former Democratic candidate endorsing Republican T.K. Waters.
Democrat Ken Jefferson said “trust” drove his endorsement of Waters over Lakesha Burton, who finished ahead of Jefferson in the August First Election.
“We need a Sheriff who will guide and lead the men and women who serve and protect us by enforcing the laws of the land, prevent crime and disorder, and make our city safer for everyone. Make no mistake: There is only one candidate that I trust to do that. I endorse T.K. Waters for Sheriff and encourage the 22,000 people who supported me to consider doing the same,” Jefferson said.
“Ken Jefferson is a great friend who I have known for a long time, and I am grateful to have his support for Sheriff,” Waters responded.
“His endorsement is a testament to the support our campaign has from all corners of our city, regardless of background or political affiliation. I stand ready to use my more than 30 years of experience to build back trust through transparency and communication, put more officers on the streets and restore a service mentality to the JSO.”
Two other defeated Democrats, Tony Cummings and Wayne Clark, endorsed Burton after the First Election. But the lead-up to the August election saw Burton go on the offensive against Jefferson. Republican interests spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in third-party money to promote Jefferson and bash Burton through the Social Justice PAC.
Jefferson, who came close to winning the 2015 election over Mike Williams, held off on endorsing, with the announcement timed for the first day of Early Voting. It comes just days after Jacksonville’s First Lady, Molly Curry, endorsed Democrat Burton, breaking with Mayor Lenny Curry, a Waters partisan.
As the race nears conclusion, Waters enjoys a financial edge over Burton.
He has roughly $200,000 to spend in his campaign account.
Waters also had roughly $477,000 in his A Safer Jacksonville for All political committee, even after spending more than $500,000 the week ending Oct. 14 ($450,000 of that money went to the Duval County Republican Executive Committee).
Burton has roughly $220,000 in her Make Every Voice Count committee, and roughly $116,000 in her campaign account.