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 | Expect status quo for JSO after ‘22 election”
August 14, 2022

OPINION | Expect status quo for JSO after ‘22 election

Is reform coming to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office during the post-Mike Williams era? Based on what we’ve seen thus far in the campaign, expect the status quo no matter who is elected to replace Pat Ivey, who was appointed to the position after Williams’ resignation earlier this year. Oh sure, all the candidates talked about transparency, and they all say

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Featured image for “OPINION | August is the cruelest month”
July 31, 2022

OPINION | August is the cruelest month

T.S. Eliot famously posited that “April is the cruelest month.” This tells us that he didn’t follow primary politics in Florida, because if he did, he would know the real brutality comes in August. Local general elections often aren’t in doubt, as was underscored recently when election expert Larry Sabato went ahead and declared the 4th Congressional District “safe Republican”

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Featured image for “OPINION | DeSantis shares blame for Aguilar fiasco”
July 17, 2022

OPINION | DeSantis shares blame for Aguilar fiasco

Former Florida Times-Union journalist Matt Dixon, now of POLITICO Florida, had a “scoop” the other day that illustrated tragedies throughout the political process that ultimately settle on the chest of Northeast Florida’s body politic like a ton of bricks, an impact that can be blamed largely on one man in Tallahassee: Ron DeSantis. Republican Erick Aguilar, a candidate for the

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Featured image for “OPINION | Have Democrats lost the Jax mayoral race already?”
July 10, 2022

OPINION | Have Democrats lost the Jax mayoral race already?

For the first time in many years, two serious Democratic candidates are running for Jacksonville mayor. And for backers of one of those candidates, two Democrats in the field was one too many even before a third Democrat, Theresa Ann Richardson, filed for the race last week. Supporters of former newscaster Donna Deegan continue to suggest that Sen. Audrey Gibson launched

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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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