Aaron Bean Reconsidering State Senate Bid
The landscape of the District 8 State Senate race may soon be changing significantly, with new reports that Former State Representative Aaron Bean held a campaign meeting today to discuss the future of his bid for the seat previously held by Jim King.
The Jacksonville Observer has learned from a reliable source who had first hand contact with the candidate that Bean has been contemplating the future of his campaign and is leaning towards not running in the expected Special Election to fill Jim King's seat. The source says that Bean is weighing his options and talking to his supporters, and that out of respect for the King family he will wait to announce a final decision on the race until following this weekend's memorial service for Jim King.
Another source close to the campaign, however, denied any that such actions were being considered, telling us that "he is in the race."
Multiple entities have been conducting telephone polling over the week, in advance of a yet-to-be-scheduled special election. While the results of these polls have not been made public, it's likely that some of the candidates are reconsidering their positions. One poll that we reported on earlier this week actually named Jim King's widow, Linda King, as a potential candidate for the seat.
Other candidates already in the running for State Senate include Former House Speaker John Thrasher, Jacksonville City Councilman Art Graham, and businessman Dan Quiggle.
Earlier this year we asked Aaron Bean what his thoughts were when he heard that Former Speaker Thrasher was entering the race.
"We are most likely going to be outraised as Speaker Thrasher is expected to raise over $1 million," Bean said. "I may get outraised, but I will not be outworked. We are going to continue to work and meet as many voters, speak at every opportunity, discuss our record and debate ideas."
Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland appeared on WBOB's "What's the Buzz?" on Wednesday to discuss the special election and said he expected that the Governor might schedule the election in later September or on the first Tuesday in October. If the election is called on October 6, it may save some money as the City of Atlantic Beach was already scheduled to head to the polls to elect a mayor and two city commissioners on that day.
Holland also noted that the special election for State Senate will likely cause a cascading effect of other special elections. City Councilman Art Graham will be forced to resign his seat to continue his campaign, thus opening up that spot. Current Atlantic Beach Mayor John Meserve has said he will run for Graham's seat, creating an open race for his spot as Mayor. And School Board member Stan Jordan is considered a potential candidate for Senate, which would create an opening in his seat.
The Bean campaign had raised $238,056 at the end of the last reporting quarter and still had most of that cash on hand.
Aaron Bean could not be reached for comment this afternoon.