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Ellen Morrissey

Donna Deegan (D), Daniel Davis (R) advance to May 16 runoff in Jacksonville mayoral election

Donna Deegan (D) and Daniel Davis (R) will advance to the May 16, 2023, runoff election for mayor of Jacksonville, Florida. On election night, with 94% of precincts reporting, Deegan led with 40% of the vote, followed by Davis with 25%. Since no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, the top-two finishers advanced to the runoff. 

Al Ferraro (R), who received 16% of the vote when the race was called, was the only other candidate to finish with more than 10%. Audrey Gibson (D), LeAnna Cumber (R), Frank Keasler (R), Omega Allen (I), and write-in Brian Griffin (I) also ran.

Deegan is a philanthropist, author, and local television news anchor. This was her first run for elected office. Deegan completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, where she listed “improvements in infrastructure, public health, housing affordability, and an inclusive economy,” advocating for women and families, and improving downtown Jacksonville as her key messages. Click here to read her full survey.

Davis is the chief executive officer of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and a former member of the Florida House of Representatives. His key messages included investing in public safety and improving public schools. Regarding his economic priorities, he wrote on his campaign website, “We can grow jobs AND prepare infrastructure. We can have success at the Port AND protect the river. We can create world class amenities for sports and entertainment opportunities for everyone AND perform the nuts and bolts of government.”

Incumbent Mayor Lenny Curry (R) is term-limited and could not run for re-election. Jacksonville has had a Republican mayor since Curry was elected in 2015, making it the most populous American city with a Republican mayor. In 2015, Curry defeated then-incumbent Alvin Brown (D) 51% to 49% in the May runoff election. The 2019 mayoral election was decided in the March general election, with Curry receiving 58% of the vote over Anna Lopez Brosche’s (R) 24%, Omega Allen’s (I) 11%, and Jimmy Hill’s (R) 8%.

As of March 2023, the partisan breakdown of the mayors of the 100 largest U.S. cities was 62 Democrats, 26 Republicans, three independents, and seven nonpartisans. Two mayors’ partisan affiliations were unknown. Based on 2020 population estimates, 76.1% of the population of the top 100 cities lived in cities with Democratic mayors, and 16.2% lived in cities with Republican mayors at the start of 2022.

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