Jacksonville mayor’s race officially kicks of as candidates submit qualifying paperwork

At least four candidates running for Jacksonville mayor officially submitted their paperwork on the first day of qualifying.

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Family by her side, Republican Councilmember and mayoral candidate LeAnna Cumber was first to submit her paperwork and pay the $13,800 fee Monday morning.

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Education, addressing human trafficking and public safety topped her list of priorities.

“Every child in this city should live in a safe environment, a safe community. Every parent should have control of their child’s education,” said Cumber.

Democratic candidate Donna Deegan was the only candidate to qualify by petition, delivering the more than 6,500 signatures required to the downtown supervisor of elections office.

Related Story: LeAnna Cumber officially files paperwork to run for Jacksonville’s Mayoral Race

She said it’s reflective of her grassroots campaign.

“People are connecting with us. You know, we want to have a campaign that listens to people in Jacksonville and that makes them part of this process,” said Deegan.

Republican Councilmember Al Ferraro also qualified Monday morning.

He said transparency, public safety and fiscal responsibility are his top priorities.

“Just making sure that their tax paying dollars are being used. I’m concerned with the safety of our community,” said Ferraro.

Former State Senator and Democratic mayoral candidate Audrey Gibson dropped off her paperwork Monday afternoon.

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She said the environment, a balanced budget and healthcare are all issues she wants to put front and center.

“But the biggest thing that we need to do, that a mayor needs to do, that I will do, is to unify this city,” said Gibson.

Qualifying runs through noon Friday.

“I’ll draw an analogy. If you’re talking to somebody who says, oh yeah, I’m going to college. Okay, great. You can say you’re going to college, but this is actually registering and paying for classes,” said UNF political science professor Dr. Michael Binder.

Of the ten candidates that filed to run for office, Binder said he expects we’ll see the field narrowed down to roughly six by week’s end.

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“It’s a lot of effort. So, they’ve put in the effort to say, hey listen, I’m serious about this, I’m actually running. This gets you on the ballot. If you don’t do this step, you’re not actually running for mayor or any of the other city council offices for that matter,” said Binder.

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