Democrat Donna Deegan this week won the race for mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, in an unexpected victory over Republican Daniel Davis, a stunning loss for a Gov. Ron DeSantis-backed candidate.
Deegan, a former television news anchor and the founder of a charity for victims of breast cancer, beat Davis with 52% of the vote, Politico reported, to become the city’s first Democrat mayor since 2015. In the past 30 years, Jacksonville has had only two Democrats serve as mayor: Alvin Brown and Ed Austin, who switched parties to Republican during his mayoral term.
“Love won tonight, and we made history,” Deegan said in a statement. “We have a new day in Jacksonville because people chose unity over division — creating a broad coalition of people across the political spectrum that want a unified city.”
Davis, the chief executive of the local chamber of commerce, JAX Chamber, received an endorsement from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and raised about four times as much as Deegan but was unable to win on Election Day.
Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday hit out at DeSantis, a likely rival for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, in a statement following Davis’ loss, noting the candidate Trump endorsed in Kentucky, Daniel Cameron, won the GOP nomination for governor in the state.
“Congratulations to a ‘star’ in Kentucky, Danial Cameron, (sic) who easily won the Republican Nomination for Governor,” Trump wrote. “He had my Complete and Total Endorsement. The DeSanctimonious backed candidate came in a DISTANT third. Ron’s magic is GONE! He also lost, shockingly, in Jacksonville last night (Mayor).”
“Wow! In a big upset, the DeSanctimonious backed Republican candidate for Mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, LOST,” He added. “This is a shocker. If they would have asked me to endorse, he would have won, easily. Too proud to do so. Fools! This is a BIG LOSS for the Republican Party. Remember, ‘Rob’ only won because of me!!!”
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