With the official announcement of election dates being published by the Supervisor of Elections, the 2011 Jacksonville City elections are on.
Publisher Jim Bailey has bowed out along with At large City Councilwoman Glorious Johnson. Both were effected by the non- endorsement issued to them by the Police Union. The union decided to endorse Tax Collector Mike Hogan. A rather strange endorsement for a public union, since one of the things Republican Hogan will look to do if he gets into office is to find things to cut. Chief among those things will be continuing the reigning in of municipal salaries and further concessions of union benefits and pension plains.
That leaves three top contenders for the office of Mayor; Rick Mullaney, Mike Hogan and Audrey Moran. All three are republicans. The top two vote getters after March 22 will go the May 17th general election. The other two contenders, both democrats, have a tall financial and name recognition mountain to climb.
Warren Lee, who works for the State of Florida was the first Mayoral candidate to qualify by petition. This is done ostensibly to save money that could be spent on the campaign. But what many candidates don’t realize is that it says clearly that you don’t have or don’t expect to raise the money you need to qualify for office. Which in and of itself, could be a disqualifier in running for a top executive position, such as the office of Mayor of Jacksonville.
Alvin Brown has taken this same road to qualifying. That is by petition. He has raised money,(more than Lee) but from mostly out of town sources. Much of this from his old days as a Washington insider with the Clinton administration back in the 90s. But again he chose to qualify by petition.
The problem for both candidates is that they are both democrats with no democratic organization in place in Duval County that is prepared to support them. Demographics alone show the problems they both faced from the get go. The Beaches and Baldwin, Mandarin, east Arlington, North Jacksonville north of Dunn Avenue and West of Blanding Boulevard are solid republican voting areas. These two candidates will need a massive voter education effort which equates to a massive amount of money to convince voters to agree that one of them should be in the general election. Its almost a statistical impossibility. Add to the fact that both gentlemen are African American.
Suggestion: They should pull out of the Mayoral primary and run for City Council at large Group 5.