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 | ‘Discipline and punish’: the Duval way”
June 26, 2022

OPINION | ‘Discipline and punish’: the Duval way

To the best of my knowledge, French philosopher Michel Foucault never made it to Duval County. And he likely never opined on whether the Westside truly is the best side or other historic questions of bygone times. But despite never having done Duval, Foucault seemed to understand what made the place tick. His book Discipline and Punish: The Birth of

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Featured image for “OPINION | Will DeSantis get his Duval revenge?”
June 12, 2022

OPINION | Will DeSantis get his Duval revenge?

In the final analysis, Gov. Ron DeSantis may be the big winner of the Jacksonville sheriff’s race in 2023. Consider how he handled the opening last week for the position. His friend Mike Williams was forced into resignation after it became clear he would not be able to ignore the charter provision compelling sheriffs of Duval County to live in

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Featured image for “OPINION | Have Democrats already lost the governor’s race?”
June 5, 2022

OPINION | Have Democrats already lost the governor’s race?

Democrats are in a bad position vis-a-vis Ron DeSantis, and it seems to have them hamstrung as time starts to run out on the 2022 cycle.

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Featured image for “OPINION | Where the sheriff lives matters”
June 1, 2022

OPINION | Where the sheriff lives matters

One of my least favorite fictions about our region is that Jacksonville and the rest of Northeast Florida are the same. Anyone who has logged real time here knows that there are real differences.  I never expected to see the homegrown Jacksonville sheriff, who should be acutely aware of the differences between the city and the suburbs, try to pretend

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Featured image for “OPINION | Corrine Brown’s pyrrhic victory”
May 22, 2022

OPINION | Corrine Brown’s pyrrhic victory

Months back, I pleaded to the federal government in this column space to stop prosecuting Corrine Brown. Last week, they heeded that and similar advice. Brown’s guilty plea ended the overheated drama of last decade’s One Door for Education saga, characterized by fat checks from the donor class for opaque purposes, promised donations from Brown to charitable entities that didn’t

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Featured image for “OPINION | Byrd’s the word”
May 15, 2022

OPINION | Byrd’s the word

The great unanswered question of the 2022 election cycle for Northeast Florida Republicans was what Cord Byrd would end up doing. Would he run for state Senate, opposing Clay Yarborough? Would he run for Congress, joining a field that includes political outsider Erick Aguilar and veteran politician Jason Fischer in the Congressional District 4 race (assuming the governor’s map ultimately

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Featured image for “OPINION | ‘Ain’t nothin’ goin’ on but the rent’”
May 8, 2022

OPINION | ‘Ain’t nothin’ goin’ on but the rent’

Not too many years ago, it was possible to eke out a living on the fringes of society and maintain a residence in Riverside, San Marco, or even Jax Beach if you weren’t picky. A no-frills, no-gentrification, no-renovation sort of thing, to be sure. But you could sell a few articles or paintings or chapbooks or zines or whatever your

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Featured image for “OPINION | Al Ferraro is driving the narrative”
May 1, 2022

OPINION | Al Ferraro is driving the narrative

Al Ferraro knows how to read a room. People should finally realize that much and give him the credit he’s due. Throughout his entire political career, he’s been underestimated. In 2015, the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce endorsed Democrat Lisa King over him in the District 2 race. King was running as a Gwen Graham-style Democrat, and there was an era

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Featured image for “OPINION | Can DeSantis overplay his hand?”
April 24, 2022

OPINION | Can DeSantis overplay his hand?

In the week since my column last ran in Jacksonville Today, Gov. Ron DeSantis got everything he wanted from the Florida Legislature. The Republican-leaning congressional map? Delivered without amendment from the Republican-dominated Legislature, then signed quietly Friday in Tallahassee before the governor left for a much less quiet bill-signing ceremony in Hialeah. The Disney smackdown? The Mouse smelled what DeSantis

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Featured image for “OPINION | Who wants to be a congressman?”
April 17, 2022

OPINION | Who wants to be a congressman?

There was no surprise, none at all, for readers of this column regarding what the Florida Legislature would do with the problem of the new congressional reapportionment map. We wrote it over two months ago: “Ron DeSantis isn’t bluffing about his map.” Lots of poetic justifications of the current Congressional District 5 followed, all sound and fury signifying nothing when

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