PerspectivesA.G. Gancarski Jacksonville Today Contributor

A.G. Gancarski's columns were a staple in Folio Weekly for nearly two decades, and he has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes about the intersection of state and local politics and policy.

Featured image for “OPINION | A tale of two parties”
January 16, 2023

OPINION | A tale of two parties

It looks from the outside like Urban Meyer is coaching the Duval Dems and Doug Pederson the GOP, but it’s not really that simple.

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Featured image for “OPINION | The 2023 mayoral race is getting real”
January 2, 2023

OPINION | The 2023 mayoral race is getting real

It is now 2023, and city elections are all but upon us. If you’re in the mayoral race, you’d better have introduced yourself by now, and done it thoroughly and memorably, because odds are good that the oppo bomb will drop on you soon enough, as the campaign will likely move into increasingly negative territory through March, then May. As

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Featured image for “OPINION | ‘Citizen of the year’: Notes on Kent Stermon”
December 18, 2022

OPINION | ‘Citizen of the year’: Notes on Kent Stermon

Warning: This essay addresses the topic of suicide. If you or someone you know is in crisis, dial 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or visit 988lifeline.org/.  Political journalism is a game of access and scoops. And Kent Stermon, who took his own life at the age of 50 under clouded circumstances, offered both in his surprisingly brief life,

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Featured image for “OPINION | The education of Diana Greene”
December 4, 2022

OPINION | The education of Diana Greene

Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Diana Greene is nearing half a decade in her position, a remarkable feat. Greene, who was honored as Florida’s Superintendent of the Year last year, is nearing the 21st century tenure record of Ed Pratt-Dannals, who also had roughly five years as supe.  She has a ways to go before she matches superintendents of the

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Featured image for “OPINION | The ‘resign to run’ trap”
November 20, 2022

OPINION | The ‘resign to run’ trap

I’ve written about politics in this town for many years and expressed my share of frustrations, including with candidates running for higher office while still an incumbent. The most glaring example of that obviously has been mayoral races, where a member of the City Council runs more often than not. When candidacy and incumbency converge, it raises questions about what

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Featured image for “OPINION | What redistricting reveals about the Jacksonville City Council”
November 6, 2022

OPINION | What redistricting reveals about the Jacksonville City Council

Anyone from a dysfunctional family would have felt at home during Friday’s redistricting schmozz on the Jacksonville City Council.  Proving again that the personal is political, the 19-person elected body approached the court-mandated second swing at drawing equitable maps north and west of the river just as it did the first: They were determined to maintain the current power structure,

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Featured image for “OPINION | Molly against the machine”
October 23, 2022

OPINION | Molly against the machine

Dozens of endorsements are flying, and most of them are of the “Well, it would be news if they didn’t endorse Candidate X” variety. Others are exceptions to the rule.  This cycle’s leading example: Jacksonville first lady Molly Curry’s backing of Democrat Lakesha Burton for Duval sheriff.  Burton has some traditionally Republican backers, and crossing party lines for endorsements is

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Featured image for “OPINION | Will Crist’s empty bus hurt in North Florida?”
October 9, 2022

OPINION | Will Crist’s empty bus hurt in North Florida?

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist brought his “Together Florida Tour” to Northeast Florida last week. Sort of. The Crist campaign advised reporters Thursday that the “Crist Campaign’s tour bus (would) make stops in North Florida to collect supplies and basic necessities for Floridians in Southwest Florida who were hit hard by Hurricane Ian.” How did that go? Here’s how it

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Featured image for “OPINION | Auditing Lenny Curry’s budget legacy”
September 25, 2022

OPINION | Auditing Lenny Curry’s budget legacy

If Jacksonville hadn’t faced budget crunches for years coming out of the 2008 crash, Mayor Lenny Curry might never have happened. Curry, an accountant by training and a political pugilist by trade, built his argument in the 2015 campaign on a number of points. A major one was budget. He blasted Alvin Brown’s administration for a so-called “pension disaster” when

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Featured image for “OPINION | Crowded field could mean chaos for Jax mayoral race”
September 11, 2022

OPINION | Crowded field could mean chaos for Jax mayoral race

The public phase of the mayoral campaign of Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce CEO Daniel Davis, who didn’t quit his day job for this run, kicked off last Thursday at a trucking company on the Westside. The vibe was retro. The loud, optimistic country songs were interchangeable and on a seeming loop. There was no AC in the warehouse-style showroom space,

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