Whoa. Did a Democrat just win the Jacksonville mayor’s race?

Um… yes?

Okay, this is the post in which I take back everything I ever said about the Florida Democratic Party’s meddling in the Jacksonville mayoral primary.

Because it appears that the doubters such as myself were wrong, and the party chairman, Rod Smith, was right to pour money into J-ville, where an African-American Democrat and former Clinton administration official Alvin Brown, is leading by just over 600 votes in the mayor’s race in the red, red city, after Tuesday night’s election, pending a recount. The guy he’s beating, for now at least, is a tea party favorite and Jacksonville’s current tax collector, Mike Hogan. Just try and square those two things…

To be clear, this is a big deal.

Jacksonville is so Republican, most of the city council races are Republican vs. Republican (in the city’s electoral system, the top two candidates of either party to emerge out of a primary face off in the general.) In the one council race that’s interparty, the Democrat is also winning tonight, 50.04% to 49.96%. Brown is ahead of tea party candidate Mike Hogan by a similarly slim margin:

Percent Votes
Alvin Brown (DEM)
Percent of total votes
50.16% 95,580
Mike Hogan (REP)
Percent of total votes
49.84% 94,977

And while I don’t pretend to know Jacksonville politics, if it holds, it would seem to  indicate the kind of anti-Republican backlash that could portend good things for Democrats in 2012, assuming the political conditions don’t change (and Rick Scott is still ghouling it up in Tallahassee.) And it would also make it clear than when they’re ready, Florida Democrats do know how to organize and get out the vote.

So what did the two sides do? A little background on the race from a blog post earlier Tuesday by Jacksonville Observer publisher Austin Cassidy:

Hogan raised more than $1 million for his campaign, more than twice what the Democrat raised. However, Brown has tapped into several high profile Republicans who were unhappy with how the March primary election turned out and they have kicked in independent expenditures in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Florida Democratic Party also reports in-kind contributions of over $500,000 worth of staff and support.

Polls had shown Hogan slightly ahead, with nearly 10 percent undecided, and there is that factor of unhappy Republicans leftover from the primary, plus the potential for heavy black turnout fueled by the potential of electing the city’s first black mayor. So far it’s looking good for Brown, but again, it’s down to the absentees.

Either way, I think its safe to say, score one for the Florida Dems.


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20 Responses to Whoa. Did a Democrat just win the Jacksonville mayor’s race?

  1. Leah Ann Noe says:

    Wouldn't this be a beautiful beginning to a nation-wide trend? Fingers crossed!

  2. The wave of the future has started. GOP overreach meets its natural fate: defeat.

  3. ALRIGHT Jacksonville Dems and Independents

  4. Whoaaa!!! Did you say that the Democrat who won "tapped into several high profile Republicans " to win? My, My, My didn't see that coming, huh??? Glad I read the WHOLE article. LOL. One day lady, you just might be "fair and balanced" after all. LOL.. Have a blessed day.

  5. Ed Tierney says:

    Congratulations are in order!

  6. Sam Hines says:

    Let's wait for it to be official.

  7. Daisy Black says:

    Joy, I supported Jackie Brown for Mayor a few years ago. She didn't have the support of the Florida Democratic Party. Now it shows if they had supported her, she may have won.

  8. Daisy, thank you for your honesty. The Florida Democratic Party has been doing some really negative things to their black politicians and potential candidates, yet nobody has had the courage to call them on it. All you hear is how bad, how racist Republicans are, yet you never hear anybody – not black politicians, not black news reporters, nobody – publicly call them on it. Oh they will whisper about it in the dark, yet never will they speak on it in public. In fact you are the first black politician that I have heard say anything negative about the Florida Democratic Party, except Alcee when they screwed over Willie Logan decades ago. In fact it was only Alcee and me. The rest were too chicken. That's why the Democratic Party continues to treat folk like slaves on their plantation. Because most of you don't have the character, the courage nor the cojones to call them on it. So my sister, I salute you today. God bless.

  9. yes he won we can beat then if we stand for together and work hard and vote my people vote

  10. Ed Tierney says:

    Congratulations​ are in order!

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  12. RinaX says:

    Yep. I didn’t get home until 6:35 last night, only to realize that I had not gone to vote. I was so exhausted that I actually considered just saying “forget it”, because admittedly the conservative swing of this city made me figure Hogan had it in the bag. But, ultimately I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t at least try, so I went on up to the voting precinct. It was actually pretty empty, but at least my concience was clear, I figured. While at my computer later on I glanced up at the TV and saw Hogan leading earlier in the evening by about 53-47 and was like eh, at least I tried. Then I turned the channel.
    Watched the news at 11, and got the shock of my life to see Alvin Brown ahead. Just shows that every vote absolutely does count, and no matter where you live you can’t just concede your vote. :)

  13. Jonathan says:

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  14. Rupert says:

    Good for you, Rinax. Glad that you stuck it out.

    This being Florida, I don’t feel confident about a recount, but his will be a nice win, if it holds up.

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  16. RinaX says:

    Rupert, as of 2:00pm today Brown was still ahead by 585 votes. I still can’t believe it. The actual counting of the outstanding ballots should be done by tonight. A formal recount of all precincts can’t start until tomorrow at 5:00pm.

  17. Glenn T. says:

    I hope to vote stands. Seems all across the country, if there’s a recount on a close vote the Repugs find a lost few thousand votes.

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