Current, former candidates endorse in Fernandina Beach runoffs

lednovich fernandina magnet sign
Outraised and outspent, Mike Lednovich still has the advantage of incumbency.

As Fernandina Beach’s runoffs for City Commission draw to a close, a former candidate is making a late public endorsement. Former firefighter Chris Nickoloff finished third in the first round of voting, and recently came out in favor of the incumbent, Mayor Mike Lednovich, who faces James Antun for Seat 4.

In a lengthy social media post, Nickoloff said he respected Lednovich’s experience on the Commission and with the complexities of municipal government.

“Mike is a proponent of building the sea wall to protect our valued downtown business district from flooding,” Nickoloff wrote. “This is a project he was part of initiating, and is committed to seeing thru to completion. Mike is involved. Mike regularly attends City Advisory Board meetings and other ancillary city events. Not a requirement for his position, but because of his commitment to the city.

“Mike is retired, and his family is grown. He has time to commit to the endless hours being a City Commissioner requires. I believe he will continue this level of commitment to the city he loves.”

While he is currently Mayor, city rules prevented Lednovich from running for Mayor again. But he could run for re-election to the Commission, which he decided to do.

“And finally, I find him to be responsive to his constituents,” Nickoloff wrote of Lednovich. “If you reach out to Mike with an idea, complaint, or praise, he will always respond regardless of your position. He has represented our city well, and I believe he will continue to do so in the future.”

Antun, meanwhile, endorsed Darron Ayscue, the firefighters’ union president who is in the other runoff, this one against City Planning Board member Genece Minshew.

“Vote the A-team for preservation of our city,” Antun posted.

Going into the runoffs for Seat 4, Antun shows more than $9,000 raised, but he has reported spending a little more than $4,600 of that. Lednovich raised around $4,700 and spent around $3,600.

In Seat 5, Ayscue shows $20,000 raised and more than $16,200 spent, compared to Minshew’s nearly $17,300 raised and more than $18,400 spent.

The runoff election is Tuesday.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:

One comment

  • Mike Phillips

    December 12, 2022 at 4:14 pm

    Hi Wes. I’d like to pick your brain about the flood of Republican money that flooded into direct mail the last week or two in this race. At least $20k, maybe $30k. I think it came from Dean Black’s PAC, True Conservatives. The question I have for my readers is, do you want partisan PAC money becoming part of the process in electing people for non-partisan positions? –Mike Phillips

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