Florida’s Governor stayed neutral for the first part of the Jacksonville mayoral race, but he’s engaging now.
In a graphic sent out Friday, Ron DeSantis endorsed Republican Daniel Davis, the CEO of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, in the race to replace incumbent Lenny Curry.
DeSantis claims Davis is “the proven law and order conservative Jacksonville needs to tackle the city’s greatest challenges and seize its biggest opportunities.”
“I am proud to endorse Daniel Davis for Mayor because I trust him to fight for Jacksonville’s hardworking families, and I know he will stand with law enforcement,” DeSantis contended.
The Governor did not endorse before the First Election, which saw three other Republicans on the ballot: City Council members LeAnna Gutierrez Cumber and Al Ferraro, along with wildcard candidate Frank Keasler. After programming millions of dollars to defeat Cumber and Ferraro, Davis finished in second place to Donna Deegan.
Deegan finished in a strong first place with 39% of the vote, though not with the majority support needed to win outright. Deegan carried early vote, vote by mail, and Election Day turnout, despite Republicans dominating Tuesday turnout.
Davis had 25% of the vote, far behind Deegan but good enough to set up the second election.
The vote splintered for both candidates from there. Ferraro had 16%, good for third place. Democrat Audrey Gibson had 9%. Cumber finished in fifth place with 8%. Keasler came in with 2%.
The Westside Republican, running under the “Jacksonville Grown” tagline, has been the strongest fundraiser in the race, with roughly $6 million brought in between his campaign account and his Building a Better Economy political committee.
Deegan has been outgunned financially, having raised more than $1.2 million so far between her campaign account and her Donna for Duval political committee. Barring an endorsement from Barack Obama or Joe Biden, she will have difficulty finding an endorsement as meaningful for her side as Davis getting the DeSantis nod is for his.
DeSantis memorably endorsed Sheriff T.K. Waters in last year’s Special Election, clearing the field of Republicans. He also endorsed Jason Fischer in the Duval County Property Appraiser race before March, but did not extend Davis the same courtesy before the First Election.
However, given the March 21 turnout was R+4, this endorsement should help Davis consolidate GOP backing that was splintered earlier this month.
The Republican Party of Duval County hopes so.
“The choice before all Duval voters is now clear,” read an email to the party faithful. “Will they support an avowed Leftist like ‘Defund’ Donna Deegan, who is determined to undermine law & order in favor of a woke agenda, or will they support our Governor and VOTE for Daniel Davis?
March 31, 2023 at 5:48 pm
I am Frankie’s complete lack of surprise. At least Davis can finally post his ugly mug next to Ronnie D. ala Jason Fischer without feeling like a stalker.
Billy the Bamboozler McSewer
March 31, 2023 at 7:09 pm
Never heard of the fkn guy.
Conservatives for Donna
March 31, 2023 at 8:33 pm
The local GOP is fractured beyond repair and this won’t change it. It will however be amazing to watch Davis lose with this endorsement.
I’m voting for a blue ticket! Conservatives for Donna Deegan.
Northsiders for Deegan
March 31, 2023 at 8:38 pm
Local democrats need to search for Jacksonville Politics Uncensored. The local GOP hates Dean Black, Pancake the Fat Pantinakis, and their half-wit idiots like Brock and Arias.
Donna Deegan will cure this plague. All Republicans must vote for Donna to get rid of Dean Fat Black.
Independent for Donna
March 31, 2023 at 9:16 pm
I can’t stand dirty daniel davis.
March 31, 2023 at 9:49 pm
Maranatha Baptist University? never heard of it but it sounds ridiculous, Danny
April 1, 2023 at 1:55 pm
Voting for Deegan, voted Republican for over 30 years. Davis is a piece of filth. 6 votes for Deegan!
April 1, 2023 at 1:57 pm
I encourage all my friends on the Republican team to vote for Donna Deegan!
Our neighborhood is another 34 votes for Donna! We can’t trust Daniel after this negative campaign!
April 1, 2023 at 8:07 pm
I can’t see myself voting for Davis. Governor DeSantis got this endorsement wrong, he should have picked Al.
Guess it’s Deegan for me. Davis is too close to Mr. Tim Baker.
April 1, 2023 at 10:23 pm
I am very disappointed in GOVERNOR DeSANTIS. HE should have been a real man and came and endorse AL FERRARO FOR MAYOR.We wouldn’t be having a run off.He did it for other candidates. We the people’s do not like the Republican Party officials of the REC .They all need to resigned the meeting on Monday was simply disgraceful. Dean Black accused Jax Interigty of things he knows that aren’t true. He knows his Vice President Steve Adam’s and Donavan Bradley are the one’s giving information to the media. The Duval Gop is a dysfunctional organization with the leadership if they cared about the people’s they would all resigned that includes Ginger Soud who knows what is going on but chooses to stay on board. The Duval Republican Club is full of racists and Dean Black and his staff are all racists. They are openly racist they are money laudering .Where did the money come from to give Alex Pantackis $500,000 for what kind of work. But you don’t want to explain that to the members. But Dean Black didn’t give money to no Black person that’s a Republican running for office .It is time for an investigation. Thank you Florida Politics for the work that you do. Yes I am a Republican but our Republican Party of Duval County needs to be investigated and cleaned up. People are not coming to our meeting when they do they are disrespected. Dean Black was very disrespectful to Mike Gay. By the way Daniel Davis didn’t even come to the Duval REC meeting on Monday night.
Duval GOP = cronys of Tim Baker
April 2, 2023 at 12:39 pm
If you value JEA as a public utility, vote for Donna. Daniel Davis and the Duval GOP are one massive organized crime ring. save the city and vote these racist republicans out of town. I’m a libertarian because I can’t stand Dean Black
sad vote for davis
April 3, 2023 at 7:02 am
believe me, I cannot stand Daniel Davis, but, I dislike donna black lives matter Deegan worse. this is a sad situation of picking the lesser of two evils.. Deegan is the worst of the two. so reluctantly, I will vote for Davis
Deegan or Leave it blank
April 3, 2023 at 8:13 am
I’m an Independent, and why would you vote for Davis? He will sell JEA within a year. The sheriff has done nothing except campaign for Davis.
Nothing changes in this city with him leading it. Donna can’t get stuff done with a majority Republican city council. So it’s ok to vote for her.
But a vote for Davis, is a vote for Lenny Curry and Tim Baker and the good ol boy system.
No can do from us!
April 3, 2023 at 8:16 am
RON DESANTIS CHOSE POORLY. AL FERRARO VOTER HERE, VOTING FOR DEEGAN.
MISTER GOVERNOR SHOULD HAVE PICKED AL! DAVIS IS DISGUSTING!
April 3, 2023 at 9:42 am
Yeah this is a black eye in my view. Donna Deegan all the way, I would like to keep JEA thank you.
April 10, 2023 at 11:34 pm
I assume anyone endorsed by Tiny D is a classic Fla GOP groomer until proven otherwise
Comments are closed.