Ron DeSantis
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: What we learned from the August elections”
August 28, 2022

Opinion: What we learned from the August elections

The 2022 primaries taught us a lot about how surprises are possible in local politics, even if some things stay constant. The biggest surprise of all was in Congressional District 4, where in the Democratic primary, LaShonda “LJ” Holloway edged out Tony Hill, a former state senator and district aide to redistricted-out Congressman Al Lawson. Holloway is proof of the

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Featured image for “Opinion: Advocating for humanity is not indoctrination”
August 24, 2022

Opinion: Advocating for humanity is not indoctrination

As humans, we have an average of 6,000 thoughts per day. We are also flooded with as much as 34 GB of information a day.  These messages worm their way into our consciousness, settle into our subconscious and form our thought patterns. These thoughts shape our perspective and mold our world view. They create deep narratives tied to how we

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Featured image for “Jax councilmen defeated in bids for Legislature, as House and Senate races all but decided in several local districts”
August 23, 2022

Jax councilmen defeated in bids for Legislature, as House and Senate races all but decided in several local districts

Two Jacksonville City Council members fell short in their bids to springboard to seats in the state Legislature in Tuesday’s primaries, while other candidates for the statehouse punched their tickets to Tallahassee. Voters chose former state lawmaker Kimberly Daniels over Jax Councilman Garrett Dennis in the Democratic primary for state House District 14 by a 47% to 33% margin, while

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Featured image for “Duval’s Black voters have mixed thoughts on congressional redistricting”
August 21, 2022

Duval’s Black voters have mixed thoughts on congressional redistricting

Tuesday’s primary election will likely begin to close the book on a three-decade run of Black congressional representation in Jacksonville, as the region’s “minority access district,” Congressional District 5 currently represented by Democrat Al Lawson, becomes history. Two Black candidates, Democrats Tony Hill and LaShonda “LJ” Holloway, are running to replace Lawson, but election prognosticators consider the newly drawn District

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Featured image for “Opinion: DeSantis’ influence key in local GOP elections”
August 17, 2022

Opinion: DeSantis’ influence key in local GOP elections

As the 2022 primary draws to a close, several storylines have emerged at the local, state and federal levels: The three-way Republican primary for state House District 16 is wild. Jacksonville Beach City Councilman Chet Stokes brought a wheelbarrow full of cash to the race and seeks to overwhelm his opponents with TV, radio and social media advertising.  Former state

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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: ‘Fair Districts’ vote wasn’t the last word”
July 6, 2022

Opinion: ‘Fair Districts’ vote wasn’t the last word

After losing the governor’s mansion in 1998 and losing both chambers of the state Legislature a few years prior, Florida Democrats were frustrated. They saw 2012 as an opportunity to reset the playing field. That was the year the state Senate and House would participate in the once-in-a-decade process of redrawing the congressional and legislative maps. The Democrats, understandably, didn’t

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