The General Counsel nominee for Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan is withdrawing from consideration by the City Council.
“Thank you to Mayor Deegan for her nomination to be General Counsel for her and the Consolidated Government of Jacksonville, the City I love. In the best interest of both, I withdraw my request for consent to the nomination,” asserted Randy DeFoor Wednesday.
“My support for this Mayor, and my belief that we must as a city unite in support of her is undiminished; We must rise above politics to create a better environment for all of us.”
Mayor Deegan confirmed the withdrawal after publication.
“I’m grateful that Randy was willing to continue serving the city we both love. I stand by her impeccable character and qualifications. Randy has the support of all the city’s independent authorities and a large, bipartisan coalition of community and business leaders. Jacksonville needs a General Counsel who has her vast experience, commitment to service, and belief that unity is our only path forward. We will continue moving ahead with those qualities in mind.”
A new acting General Counsel will be picked soon.
The withdrawal comes after weeks of DeFoor, a Republican who left the City Council at the end of June, trying to convince her former colleagues to confirm her. A group of them had committed to vote against her, leaving a high hurdle before potential confirmation. Per Jacksonville municipal code, she would have to be confirmed by “no less than 13 members” of the supermajority Republican City Council.
“After watching the events of the past few weeks in this and other related matters, I would remind us of the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: ‘If we do not learn to live together as brothers (and sisters), we shall perish together as fools,'” DeFoor added. “This is my only prayer for all of us. I look forward to serving this community in other capacities and will have no further comment at this time.”
DeFoor is the second former Republican Council member the Democratic Mayor tried to get confirmed by the Council. Al Ferraro withdrew his name from consideration to lead the Neighborhoods Department earlier this month.
The Mayor assembled a Qualifications Committee that was considering a number of candidates, including former Democratic Council member Brenda Priestly Jackson, and Lawsikia Hodges and Jason Teal from the OGC. It’s unclear whether these candidates, or others, will be put forth for reconsideration.
This is a developing story and will be updated.