Jacksonville’s Next Mayor: Moran, Hogan Top Reader Choices
Last week, the Jacksonville Observer conducted a reader survey on Jacksonville's 2011 mayoral race. While voters won't head to the polls for over a year, several candidates are already off and running and others have made it clear they will join the fray in the coming weeks.
Our survey's results, recorded in the graphic on the right, are an unscientific sample meant to reflect the current thoughts of our readers. If a poll such as this has any value, it is perhaps as a demonstration of a campaign's organizational strength. Both the Moran and Hogan campaigns, and their supporters, made clear efforts to circulate the poll and increase their vote totals.
Audrey Moran was the first candidate to officially file and came out with very strong fundraising numbers during her first reporting period. Moran has served as Chief of Staff for Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney and as Director of Legislative Affairs for Mayor Ed Austin. She is currently the President and CEO of the Sulzbacher Center, which provides services for the homeless in downtown Jacksonville.
Moran's campaign had raised $171,000 as of December 31st.
Mike Hogan currently serves as Duval County Tax Collector and has previously held posts in the State House and on the Jacksonville City Council. He entered the race shortly after Moran declared and banked about $112,000 as of the end of the year.
In third place was City Councilman Kevin Hyde, who entered the race a bit later than both Moran and Hogan. Hyde is a lawyer with Foley and Lardner and has been an at-large member of the City Council since 2003, having also served a term as Council President.
Hyde's fundraising total as of the end of the year was a little over $46,000.
The criteria used for the inclusion of some candidates over others in this poll was somewhat subjective. Since there are nine people currently filed as candidates for mayor and numerous others about to enter the race, we determined that it made the most sense to include only those who are generally recognized as the "most serious" candidates.
Thus, we named any candidates who had already declared themselves and raised enough money to pay the qualifying fee to earn a spot on the ballot. Only three of the nine who have filed have also raised significant amounts of money: Audrey Moran, Councilman Kevin Hyde and Tax Collector Mike Hogan.
Additionally, we determined that it made sense to include three other well-known candidates who have yet to make their announcements official: City Councilwoman Glorious Johnson, General Counsel Rick Mullaney and newspaper publisher Jim Bailey. All three have made it publicly known that they plan to enter the race, likely in April.
Nearly 100 voters chose the write-in option.
Duval County Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry was the top write-in choice, picked by 33 voters. In fact, Curry actually outpolled publisher Jim Bailey, whose name was included on the ballot.
Curry also polled very strongly in our last mayoral survey. At that time, Curry told the Observer he wasn't planning a run for mayor and was focusing on his business.
“I am very focused on building the Republican Party and growing my company, ICX Group,” he said at the time.
Robert Hutcherson finished in second among write-in voters, with 14 votes. Hutcherson (or "Hutch" as he's known) has declared as a Republican candidate for mayor and has raised about $1,000 as of the last reporting period.
Others gaining a few write-in votes included former St. Johns Republican Chairman Hank Heinold, member of the Taxation Revenue and Utilization of Expenditures (TRUE) Commission Jason Fischer, Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland and City Councilman Daniel Davis.
Complete write-in results are listed in the graphic on the left side of this page.
As candidates really begin to kick their campaigns into high gear, The Jacksonville Observer will revisit the mayor's race with another reader poll in a few months.