Council races wrap-up: Brosche defeats Daniels; Hazouri, Newby, Wilson among winners

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As she caught her breath Tuesday night following a successful first run for public office, Anna Lopez Brosche said she feels she’s joining City Council at an ideal time.

Brosche defeated incumbent Kimberly Daniels in the citywide At-Large Group 1 runoff. She said more and more investors are demonstrating they believe in Jacksonville’s potential.

In turn, residents sense the city is embarking on greatness, she said.

“There are a lot of people excited about our future as we make our way into an improving economy,” Brosche said after the final votes were cast Tuesday. “It’s just a matter of capitalizing on the momentum, being smart, and investing wisely in a way that works for all of us.”

Brosche is managing shareholder at Ennis Pellum & Associates CPAs and chairs the United Way of Northeast Florida board of directors, among other community service activities. She said she will be the first Filipino-American and first Asian-American on the council.

“That’s something I’m very proud of,” she said. “This has always been about serving the community in a larger way.

“We have things we need to clean up, including the pension fund and a lot of other things that we’ve been talking about for awhile,” said Brosche.

— Kevin Hogencamp



Hazouri adding Council to public service resume

Add Jacksonville City Council member to Tommy Hazouri’s substantial political resume.

The former mayor, Duval County School Board member and Florida legislator was elected as the council’s At-Large Group 3 member in Tuesday’s runoff, defeating newcomer Geoff Youngblood.

Hazouri, who succeeds Stephen Joost, said his extensive background is just what the transitioning council needs.

“When I saw that there were going to be 10 new people potentially coming to the council out of 19 seats, that’s when I decided to run,” said Hazouri, a Democrat. “Experience matters now more than ever.”

Youngblood owns Jacksonville firms Tools For A Time Inc. and Turf PAC, which sells and leases industrial power equipment for landscape management and emergency preparedness operations.

Hazouri said a priority will be working with Jacksonville’s next mayor, Lenny Curry, and sheriff, Mike Williams, to ensure the community’s crime-fighting and education initiatives are adequately funded.

A retired consulting firm president, Hazouri served as a Florida House of Representatives member from 1974-86, mayor from 1987-91, and on the Duval County School Board from 2004-12.

“I can help make sure we improve on and make sure we don’t repeat a lot of the mistakes that we’ve already made,” he said.

— Kevin Hogencamp



Newby wins despite being outspent

Jacksonville City Council newcomer Samuel Newby said he thinks he’ll have a leg up when he starts helping the city balance its billion-dollar budget beginning July 1.

“I know I can do this; I just won a citywide race on $18,000,” Newby said Tuesday night after being elected as the council’s At-Large Group 5 representative.

A Republican, Newby was heavily outspent by Democrat Ju’Coby Pittman in the runoff and by Pittman and Republican Michelle Tappouni in the March 24 election. He will replace Robin Lumb, who did not seek a second term.

Newby is a PepsiCo route supervisor, a former local Republican Party vice chair, and co-founder of the Florida Assembly of Black Republicans.

Pittman is president and CEO of Clara White Mission.

Newby said he overcame Pittman’s massive win in the March 24 First Election with God’s intervention and by resonating with voters on the campaign trail.

“It was God first because I was a big underdog and couldn’t have done it without Him,” Newby said. “I also think the people listened to my message and they like my conservative values.”

In taking on his new responsibility, Newby says he’s particularly bothered by Jacksonville’s crime rate and its poor reputation.

“I was in Orlando the other day for a conference and somebody said to me, ‘Oh, you’re from Jacksonville, where somebody’s getting shot every day,’” he said. “We’ve got to put more police officers on the streets, we’ve got to train these kids (and) we’ve got to work for solutions together as a community.”

The election marked Pittman’s third unsuccessful bid for a Jacksonville council seat.

— Kevin Hogencamp


Former TV personality Morgan defeats Anania

After leading early voting and voting by mail by fewer than 500 votes, Joyce Morgan defeated Mike Anania when voters went to the polls Tuesday, which comprises West Arlington. She was elected to City Council District 1 by a comfortable margin.

Morgan, a Democrat and former local television personality, said Tuesday she was both exhilarated and humbled by the decision of her constituents. And she’s ready to begin another career in the public eye.

“I’ve watched others and I’ve taken a lot of notes,” she said. “I’m ready to get to work.”

The top priority for Morgan as soon as she takes office July 1 will be reducing crime and improving safety in her district. That’s particularly important for her most youthful neighbors, she said.

“Juveniles commit most of the crime in Arlington. We have to find a way not to have a long, hot summer,” Morgan said. “These kids need summer programs and jobs.”

Months of campaigning for office allowed her to meet many people and really get to know the area on the street level.

“We have a very diverse community, but a lot of people have been left out of the process,” said Morgan. “I want to engage the community to accept where we are and then move forward together. I am really looking forward to serving the people of Arlington on council.”

— Max Marbut



Ferraro beats King by double digits

Al Ferraro won the District 2 City Council seat in East Arlington and the Northside on the strength of his supporters going to the polls on Election Day.

In one of the few resounding victories of the evening, Ferraro, a Republican, defeated Democrat and real estate executive Lisa King by a double-digit percentage.

King was favored by early voters by a margin of about 350 votes, while Ferraro supporters who voted by mail gave him a margin of more than 1,000 votes before the polls opened Tuesday.

In the First Election on March 24, Ferraro received 303 votes more than King to secure his spot in the General Election.

But when votes cast by more than 8,500 people who went to the polls Tuesday were counted, Ferraro was on top by more than 2,000 votes to secure the council seat by a margin of more than 15 percent.

Ferraro owns a landscaping and lawn service company he started 30 years ago.

He did not return phone calls for comment.

— Max Marbut



Wilson breaks away from Day

Republican Scott Wilson and Democrat Ramon Day ran one of the closest races in the March 24 First Election, but it was all Wilson Tuesday in the runoff for the City Council District 4 seat.

Wilson is no stranger to City Hall. For the past eight years, he was District 4 member Don Redman’s executive aide.

Redman, who after eight years in office could not seek another term, was one of the first people to congratulate Wilson at the campaign watch party at the Elks Lodge in San Souci.

Wilson attributed his victory to knocking on a lot of doors and meeting a lot of people during the campaign, and particularly since March 24.

He said his top priorities for his district as soon as he takes office July 1 will be to improve infrastructure and reduce nuisance crime.

“We’re seeing a lot of loitering and panhandling along Beach Boulevard,” he said.

After the March election, Wilson said his task the morning after would be to pick up any of his campaign signs that he might find along the road. Tuesday night, Wilson said between now and July 1, he’ll be helping Redman pack up his office and archive records.

“I’ll be helping Don wrap up his eight years on council,” he said. “Then I’ll move into my new office.”

– Max Marbut



Gaffney rallies support in brother’s old district

Within minutes after being elected to the Jacksonville City Council, Reggie Gaffney had already assembled an exclusive faction to help him do his job: His opponents.

Gaffney said that four fellow candidates for the District 7 seat –– including runoff competitor George Spencer Jr. — have agreed to work directly with him to improve the community. Both Gaffney and Spencer are Democrats.

“My work starts tomorrow. The first thing we are all going is to try to bring everybody in the district together,” Gaffney said Tuesday night.

Gaffney, founder of Community Rehabilitation Center Inc., is replacing his brother, Johnny Gaffney, on the council. Johnny Gaffney served two terms before resigning in February to run for a Florida legislative seat.

Gaffney is proposing a multi-pronged crime-fighting initiative funded by a 5-cent increase in traffic and parking ticket fines. He also says providing more funding for vocational training is pivotal to putting more unemployed people to work and providing more opportunities to under-employed workers.

— Kevin Hogencamp



Political rookie beats veteran Lockett-Felder

Katrina Brown said familiarity and trust are more important to voters than experience.

That’s why, Brown said, she prevailed over two seasoned politicians in the Jacksonville City Council District 8 race.

“Being a small business owner, I understand the community’s needs, and I think that the voters understand that,” said Brown, a managing partner in Jerome Brown BBQ, a family business.

A political newcomer, Brown defeated former two-term council member Pat Lockett-Felder in Tuesday’s runoff.

Brown said she’ll represent her district in pursuit of safer neighborhoods, better maintenance for city streets and lights, and economic development. Having a finance degree, she said, will be particularly beneficial in her new role.

Brown said younger voters, including many she reached through social media, seemed particularly drawn to her message that the district needed a more accessible representative at City Hall.

“Everywhere I went and every connection we made,” she said, “people said they wanted a change.”

Brown replaces Denise Lee, who endorsed Lockett-Felder and could not seek re-election because of term limits.

Brown said her first course of action after taking office July 1 will be to bring the community together for a town hall meeting.

“I knew it was going to be a tight race because my opponent had the incumbent’s endorsement, but I never took my eye off of what we needed to accomplish,” she said. “I won’t do that as a city council member, either.”

— Kevin Hogencamp