John Rutherford endorses Daniel Davis for Jax Mayor, disses LeAnna Cumber
John Rutherford

Rutherford Background
The former Jacksonville Sheriff endorsed Davis via a press release.

The battle for the center-right lane in the 2023 race for Jacksonville Mayor continues, with Republican Daniel Davis receiving a notable, but unsurprising endorsement Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, a former Jacksonville Sheriff, endorsed Davis via a press release. Rutherford and Davis share the same political consultants, which only helped to facilitate the endorsement that included a shiv of LeAnna Gutierrez Cumber, another Republican in the field.

“Florida is the envy of the nation, the fastest growing state in the country, and Jacksonville is ranked among the top reasons more than 1,000 people a day are choosing to call our state home. I am constantly amused by critics who claim Jacksonville isn’t good enough, that our great city needs to ‘get moving’ or that cities like Chicago or Cincinnati are somehow more attractive. Migration numbers tell a different story.”

City Council member Cumber’s campaign slogan, of course, is the call to action, “Let’s get moving.”

Rutherford’s statement would appear to mean that such a call means that someone doesn’t believe in Jacksonville.

“Jacksonville’s next mayor needs to believe in our city, in our people and in our potential. Daniel Davis is truly Jacksonville grown and he is ready to lead this great city. I know first-hand how important the partnership between our city’s mayor and our law enforcement community is in keeping our neighborhoods safe and full of opportunity, and I am confident Daniel will continue to honor those who serve and the sacrifices they make. He’s done it before and he will do it again,” Rutherford contended.

“I am proud to endorse Daniel Davis for mayor because he has proven over time to be a conservative who shares our values, respects hard work, and will always fight for Jacksonville’s families,” Rutherford added.

The rhetoric continues to be pitched between the Davis and Cumber camps, as each is competing for many of the same voters, and as both campaigns have stronger fundraising than the rest of the field combined.

Davis’ Building a Better Economy political committee ended 2022 with over $3.5 million cash on hand, even after spending more than $525,000 in December. He also had nearly $450,000 to spend in his campaign account.

Cumber is close behind in terms of fundraising. She had nearly $330,000 to spend in her campaign account at the end of November, with almost $2.5 million in her JAX First political committee. The next closest candidate, Democrat Donna Deegan, has roughly $650,000 on hand between her campaign account and her political committee.

Qualifying for the mayoral race ends at noon on Fridayn. All candidates who qualify will run in the March 21st “First Election,” with the top two finishers advancing to the General Election on May 16.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes for the New York Post and National Review also, with previous work in the American Conservative and Washington Times and a 15+ year run as a columnist in Folio Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Haywood Jablowme

    January 10, 2023 at 4:45 pm

    Another Baker Client endorses a Baker Client. No surprise there

  • Paul

    January 11, 2023 at 5:42 am

    Rutherford and the Sheriff’s after him have not done a stellar job in the law and order area in Duval. In fact Rutherford has never put the Capital Police over the January 6 nsurrectionist nsurrectionist.

  • MK

    January 13, 2023 at 9:15 am

    Old white guy endorsed younger white guy, disses female latina candidate, surprise surprise.

  • Time4channge

    January 14, 2023 at 10:06 am

    While campaigning for his second term, Mayor Lenny Curry, addressing the citizens of Duval County said, “The sale of the JEA is off the table, I hear you loud and clear!”

    Never forget that..

    Within two months of his re-election, Mayor Lenny Curry formed a committee in early summer to “study” selling the JEA. Aaron Zahn became the appointed interim Chairman and then Chairman of the JEA with no (aka zero), utilities experience. Zahn said the JEA was spiraling down and needed to be bid out for sale. FL Power and Light, who had the prearranged bid in the bag, was represented by Lenny’s other political consultant, Tim Baker, Brian Hughes partner. You can’t make this stuff up. Who recruited Aaron Zahn? He has now been indicted by a Grand Jury in the sale of the JEA and the lucrative bonus payout scheme after the sale.

    Who appointed Zahn? Not an HR search committee. Look no further than Mayor Curry and his consultants; his conductor & political consultant, sitting Chief of Staff (double dipping $) Brian Hughes and also Tim Baker. These men are also Daniel Davis’ campaign consultants for mayor. They are also John Rutherford’s political consultants, which is why Davis got that endorsement from him.

    Were Davis elected, he would be Lenny’s third term. The voters of Jacksonville must make sure this does not happen.

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