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: Confederacy of dunces”
April 10, 2022

Opinion: Confederacy of dunces

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”  That’s a line from William Faulkner, but it’s also an apt description of Jacksonville’s historical hangover, which was illustrated in stark relief last week. Mayor Lenny Curry and others kicked off the city’s bicentennial celebration with a press conference, but elsewhere there were strong indications that Jacksonville’s history isn’t exactly unifying.

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Featured image for “Opinion: The day Brian Kilmeade silenced Jacksonville’s political class”
April 3, 2022

Opinion: The day Brian Kilmeade silenced Jacksonville’s political class

On Thursday morning, the Fox & Friends program began the 7 o’clock hour blasting the city of Jacksonville. The catalyst was a long shot of the Main Street Bridge, and that’s all it took for host Brian Kilmeade to go off. “The city of Jacksonville’s got such great potential. They’ve got these bridges. Beautiful scenery. They’ve got to rebuild that

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Featured image for “Opinion: Will Ron DeSantis pick a Jacksonville senator?”
March 27, 2022

Opinion: Will Ron DeSantis pick a Jacksonville senator?

Imagine you’re Clay Yarborough, a current state representative who thought the next campaign was all set. A few months back, you basically were a shoo-in for state Senate. Your two opponents got out of the race to replace termed-out Aaron Bean after Senate leadership endorsed you.  One of those opponents, state Rep. Jason Fischer, had about a million bucks raised

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Featured image for “Opinion: Confederate monuments are here to stay ”
March 20, 2022

Opinion: Confederate monuments are here to stay 

The Jacksonville City Council is set for yet another of its masochistic explorations of what would, in a 21st Century city, be a simple question: Should a monument to a band of seditionist criminals, the legacy of whom looms over us like the shadow of a 500-foot statue of Jim Crow, be maintained for all to see? It seems so

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Featured image for “Opinion: Controversial Ed Board pick shows what DeSantis thinks of Duval County”
March 13, 2022

Opinion: Controversial Ed Board pick shows what DeSantis thinks of Duval County

As the Legislature wrapped up its business Friday, the last bit of work before passing the budget Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis put in some work of his own, appointing a local woman to the state Board of Education, a post subject to Senate confirmation. DeSantis chose Esther Byrd of Neptune Beach, who recently lost a City Council race in that

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Featured image for “Opinion: Ukraine war hits close to home”
March 6, 2022

Opinion: Ukraine war hits close to home

The narrative thrust of American war, at least as presented in mass media, has been remoteness. Our enemies never have coherent bargaining positions. Often, they are presented as figures of ridicule. To destroy, at least as an American war machine destroys, you can’t see your enemy as your neighbor.

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Featured image for “Opinion: House redistricting map creates Jax-only CD5…lands with a thud”
February 27, 2022

Opinion: House redistricting map creates Jax-only CD5…lands with a thud

The intramural pissing match between Republicans in Tallahassee continues, and no clear resolution is at hand as they try to figure out if they can chop up Democratic districts, and if so, by how much. A third congressional redistricting map is moving forward in the process, with the House poised to offer a radically different map than the one the

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Featured image for “Opinion: Drama on Florida House floor reflects Duval’s racial divide”
February 20, 2022

Opinion: Drama on Florida House floor reflects Duval’s racial divide

Duval County legislators were at the center of drama in the Florida Legislature last week, and the confrontation spoke to an essential truth in regional politics: Jacksonville has not resolved its race issues. As the House approved a ban on abortions after 15 weeks (that’s a tad more than three months past conception), protests rose in the chamber, with chants

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Featured image for “Opinion: Ron DeSantis isn’t bluffing about his map”
February 13, 2022

Opinion: Ron DeSantis isn’t bluffing about his map

Many of those reading this rejoiced last week when the Florida Supreme Court rebuffed Gov. Ron DeSantis’ unprecedented ask for an advisory opinion regarding his proposed congressional redistricting map. DeSantis’ general counsel put forth a map, as we have discussed here, that would eliminate the Fifth Congressional District, which protects the interests of Black voters in North Florida by connecting

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Featured image for “Opinion: Lawson for Lt. Gov?”
February 6, 2022

Opinion: Lawson for Lt. Gov?

Will Florida’s 5th Congressional District, which connects Jacksonville’s Urban Core to Gadsden County while hugging the Georgia border, become a thing of the past soon? That’s what Gov. Ron DeSantis wants. And he’s asking the Supreme Court to issue an advisory opinion on whether CD 5 can be blended out, replaced with a new district connecting Jacksonville’s Urban Core with

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