JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With the city's primary election a month away, mayoral candidate Mike Hogan is busy hammering home his pledge: no tax increase.
Hogan, 60, is wrapping up his second term as the Duval County Tax Collector with his sites now on becoming mayor.
"I'm going to represent the taxpayers first, all the citizens of the county first," said Hogan, whose prior public service includes being a city councilman and state representative.
Last week Hogan, a Republican, picked up the endorsement of local firefighters, and he has the support of the police union.
Local builders and realtors, as well as Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County, have endorsed Hogan.
Hogan said the pressing issues facing the city are putting the city's financial house in order, pension issues and restoring people's trust in government.
In dealing with union issues, Hogan said he made no promises to firefighters and police.
"I offered the firefighters and police openness, honesty. Deal with them faithfully, the taxpayer would always be who I would be beholden to and they would be number one in my book," said Hogan.
"I know that probably makes some people suspect. I assure you that's what happened," said Hogan during an interview after receiving the endorsement of the firefighters' union.
On taxes, Hogan said the city must start to live within its means.
"I can make the tough decisions. I know how to balance a budget. Will not raise taxes and that's what we are going to do." said Hogan.
The city's March 22 election will trim the field of ten candidates to two if no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote. Six of the candidates qualified either by petition or by paying the filing fee. The other candidates qualified as write-ins.
First Coast News