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Jax Daily Record Monday, Jul. 7, 201412:00 PM EST

Johnny Gaffney to challenge Reggie Fullwood for state House District 13 seat


Jacksonville City Council member Johnny Gaffney plans to run against state Rep. Reggie Fullwood.

Gaffney, who is term limited on council, filed paperwork to run in the 2016 state election. By doing that, he can begin raising money for an upcoming special election for the seat. Fullwood has filed paperwork for the 2016 race, as well. Both are Democrats.

The special election became necessary when Fullwood twice filed incorrect paperwork during the original qualifying period last month. Because no other candidates filed at that time, a special election is required.

The special election gave Fullwood a second chance to seek a third term in Tallahassee, but also allowed Gaffney to step in as a challenger in House District 13.

Gaffney said he had considered running for a legislator’s seat in previous years but didn’t because he had “quite a bit of time left on council.”

Now, with his term expiring in 2015, he said he felt it was the right time to run. “This is the next level,” Gaffney said. “It gives me another opportunity to build on what I’ve started here.”

He said his priorities will be education, economic development and jobs.

Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said the primary for the special election will likely be on the Nov. 4 ballot. A runoff, if necessary, would be in December, Holland said.

He said a council member would have to submit a resignation letter 10 days before qualifying for a legislative race. The resignation must take effect either when the council member would take the new office or when the council member's successor would take office.

Because the election for council is within six months of when the resignation would take effect, the seat would not need to be filled in a special election, Holland said. The first city election is March 24, with the second being May 19.

Check later for more on Gaffney’s decision and Fullwood’s reaction.


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