FIRST COAST NEWS CAMPAIGN COVERAGE
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The two biggest winners of the evening have spoken. Republican Mike Hogan and Democrat Alvin Brown will face each other in the general election in May to decide the city's next mayor.
Hogan said in his victory speech that he had already talked to his Republican competitors, Audrey Moran and Rick Mullaney, and they were gracious in defeat. He also said he had left a message with Brown, congratulating his next competitor.
"For the most part, Mr. Brown and I agree on the challenges that are facing our great city," Hogan said. "However, we disagree in very significant areas as to how the fiscal challenges must be met."
Hogan plans to spend the next two months sharing his vision with residents and listening to concerns, he said. "The taxpayers won tonight," he said to his supporters.
Rather than participating in "the mainstream media and the special interest-based forums," Hogan said he focused during his campaign on communicating directly with people, including a recent teleconference with more than 6,000 participants.
Brown, claiming victory and securing a spot in the run-off election in May, repeated his mantra of making Jacksonville "a destination, not a pass-through."
"We can't be all things to all people," he said, adding that the city must live within its means and with a balanced budget. "This city believes, as I do, in opportunity for all."
Hogan, with 96 percent of precincts reporting has declared victory. With only a handful of precincts and about 1,100 absentee ballots left to count, there is little standing in the way of Hogan and Brown for the general election.
Moran cited the diversity of her support group and said she believes her campaign, though not successful in the run for city hall, started a revolution. "We ran a campaign of integrity and of ethics," said Moran as she conceded defeat.
"Party politics has no place in local government," she said as she called for non-partisan, unitary elections for mayor and city council.
Several Jacksonville City Council races have already been decided.
There will be a runoff election in District 1, where incumbent Clay Yarborough won 48.96 percent to fellow Republican Lindsey Block's 26.16.
The city council races had all been decided by 11 p.m., though some will also have to go to the runoff election to determine the winner.
Incumbent Clay Yarborough will need the runoff to hold his seat in District 1, as he captured 48.96 percent to fellow Republican Lindsey Brock's 26.16 percent.
Council President Jack Webb will face fellow Republican Matt Schellenberg in the runoff for District 6. Webb won a plurality, 45 percent to 30 percent.
The six candidates vying for the District 14 seat split the vote. Republicans Jill Dame (32 percent) and Jim Love (27 percent) will square off in May.
At-large Group One will see a runoff between Republican David A. Taylor (47.82) and Democrat Kimberly Daniels (42.52).
At-large Group Four nearly had a three-way tie between Republicans Greg Anderson, Juan M. Diaz and Jim Robinson, who all received between 32 and 35 percent of the vote. On May 17, however, only Robinson (35 percent) and Anderson (32 percent) will be on the ballot, depending on any potential recount. A mandatory recount occurs when the difference is less than one-half of one percent, which isn't quite the case in this race.
Independent Donald R. Foy earned the most votes in the at-large Group Five race, at 24.62 percent. Foy will face Republican Robin Lumb in May.
PHOTO GALLERY: ELECTION DAY
The Supervisor of Elections Office reported that 26,007 voters took advantage of the early voting period from March 7 through March 20. Another 17,067 absentee ballots have been submitted, for a total of 43,074 votes cast prior to the first election, slightly over 8 percent of the eligible total.
The Supervisor of Elections reported that nearly 30 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in Tuesday's election.
Tuesday's election was considered a first election, though any candidate receiving more than 50 percent of all votes cast will be declared the winner and will not need to run in the general election scheduled for May 17.
The race for mayor featured Democrats Alvin Brown and Warren Lee, Republicans Mike Hogan, Audrey Moran and Rick Mullaney, independent Steve Irvine and qualified write-in candidates Andy Bryan, David Crosby, Christopher Hills and James A. Moser.
Sheriff John Rutherford, a Republican, won reelection against Democrat Ken Jefferson, independent Soren G. Brockdorf and write-in candidate Curtis Southerland. Rutherford got 60 percent of the vote; Jefferson came in second with 37 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Property Appraiser Jim Overton beat out Democrat Kurt Kraft to keep his seat, winning 64 percent of the vote.
First Coast News