Editors Note: George Farrar will be contributing to The Florida Squeeze during the 2015 Jacksonville Elections. You can find his excellent work at The Left Turn Network
By George Farrar
This article is my perspective about the opening days of the 2015 Jacksonville Mayoral Campaigns. It is the first article in a special series profiling the upcoming Primary & General Elections.
I have the same feeling about the opening days of the Mayoral Elections Campaigns that I have every morning when I wake up and fumble for my glasses. I know that if I can just my hands on them, I can see clearly. If I can just get a feel for what is going on right now, I would feel better. I have concerns about the electoral landscape of Jacksonville and the implications for our future.
We’re not that far off from Early Voting in The Open Primary which begins on March 9. Mayor Alvin Brown (D) will be seeking re-election. He faces Bill Bishop (R) City Councilman & Architect , Lenny Curry (R), former Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida & Business Owner and Omega Allen (I), General Contractor & Community Activist in this primary in which all Registered Voters can vote in. Primary Day is March 24. The General Election is on May 19. Seats on the City Council will also be up for grabs.
Anyone who doesn’t think that the selection that we have hasn’t been orchestrated by the power brokers is fooling themselves. We face a choice between The Mayor, A GOP Money Man, A Republican Councilman who is courting Progressives and a not as well known community activist focused on “The Northwest Quadrant” When I look at this race, I see the coalition that made the election of our first African American Mayor of Jacksonville possible, that I marveled at in 2011-in a danger of splitting. The questions that I have are many but here are a few:
- Is the “Promises Made, Promises Kept” approach for The Mayor’s re-election campaign going to be effective?
- Will The Mayor get the credit for the work he put in on getting a pension deal going, for the downtown revitalization efforts, for our improved local economy-more jobs?
- Will the deterioration of our local roads and services (made possible by the budget cuts prompted by the 2008 economic crisis) come back to haunt the Mayor?
- Will The Mayor’s reluctance to provide the inspirational leadership and gusto to get the Human Rights Ordinance passed (among other things) result in him not being re-elected?
- Will Lenny Curry be able to sing the right swan song to the Conservative Republicans whose turnout if motivated in large numbers could have a detrimental impact on everything people who want Real Change here have been striving for-for many years.
- Will Councilman Bishop and/or Omega Allen somehow break thru in a big way?
- Will Mayor Brown be able to effectively maintain his coalition thru the Primary?
The stakes are high in this election. They are so high that I can see Jacksonville diverting on to 1 of 3 possible paths which I will discuss in an upcoming article. An educated & motivated voter is critical especially now more than ever.
I look forward to following, reporting on, broadcasting and ultimately endorsing in The 2015 Jacksonville Elections. It is my hope that you will continue to enjoy theleftturnnetwork.com , Jacksonville Perspectives on Facebook, and TheJaxLeft channel on YouTube as we get ready to go on a wild ride- A wild ride made possible by the very essence of what makes our Republic great – voting for our Leaders but which also is tempered by the desires of Big Money that itself is a big threat to a prosperous future for the People of Jacksonville, Florida.
George Farrar is a Progressive filmmaker and commentator who has lived most of his life in Jacksonville, of which 16 of those years he has lived on The Westside where he currently resides.