MORE: Election results
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Alvin Brown, the winner of the mayoral election, said today that his victory is about the future of the city and stressed unity.
"My administration will be bipartisan," said Brown. "We are one city...it's going to take all of us to work together."
Brown was joined by his wife, Santhea, and sons on a trip earlier today to City Hall, where he visited with Mayor John Peyton then gave his victory speech.
Following a count of final provisional ballots Wednesday, Brown defeated opponent Republican Mike Hogan by about 1,500 votes. Wednesday night, Hogan conceded the race.
Brown thanked Hogan as well as his family and friends, campaign workers and volunteers. "This victory was about Jacksonville and its future," he said.
Brown stressed the importance of strong schools in helping develop the city and its children.
"The job ahead will not be easy," he said. "We must take Jacksonville to the next level...in the long run our economy depends on strong schools."
He also emphasized the need for helping the homeless, and that residents must feel safe in their own homes.
"There are no problems we cannot solve when we work together....," said Brown.
He was introduced by Peyton who said that he had been elected at "an extraordinary time" in Jacksonville.
"He deserves the support and prayers of everyone in this community," Peyton said. "We stand united.....and hope and pray for your success as mayor of Jacksonville."
In a statement by Brown released Wednesday night the mayor-elect said, "I will work with people from every corner of this community to move Jacksonville forward. Now is the time to bring Jacksonville together and unite our city. That will be my most critical priority as mayor."
Hogan's statement thanked supporters and urged them to back Brown.
"I ask all of my supporters to join me in rallying around Alvin Brown and his team as they begin the work of getting City Hall's fiscal house in order and putting Jacksonville back to work," the statement said.
Brown's statement said he had received a "gracious" phone call from Hogan.
"I thanked Mike for his many years of dedicated service to Jacksonville ...Mike is a devoted family man and a true public servant who loves our city, and I hope that we will have the opportunity to work together in the years to come," said Brown, a Democrat.
The canvassing board declared Brown the leader of the race for Jacksonville mayor by more that 1,500 votes late Wednesday afternoon.
Hogan said that he and his wife offered "sincerest congratulations to Alvin and Santhea and will pray for their family as they transition into this very important new role," in the statement."
"Judy and I are tremendously grateful to our friends, family and supporters for all of their love and support throughout this campaign."
At last count, Brown had 97,057 votes, or 50.40 percent, while Republican Mike Hogan had 49.5 percent of the vote, or 95,521 votes.
"Obviously, (Brown's) got a lead that can't be caught....," said Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland this afternoon.
At that point, Holland predicted that the margin would be wide enough that one of them will have to concede.
The three-member canvassing board, led by Holland, counted provisional ballots today, bringing the total to 192,825.
Holland said his team will finish verifying provisional ballots before moving on to absentee ballots.
Several of the ballots have been challenged by representatives from either Mike Hogan or Alvin Brown's campaign thus far, but the challenges have been quickly dealt with each time.
The process took about eight hours, Holland said, with officials not only counting the ballots, but also verifying signatures and the legality of each provisional ballot.
U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown and former sheriff -- and former mayoral candidate -- Nat Glover were among those crowded into the room observing the count.
Holland said the last recount was in 2000 for the presidential election. Judge Brent Shore is on the elections canvassing board, his first time on the rotation since 2000.
First Coast News