He became Duval County’s second Black sheriff after winning a runoff election in November and runs again in March 2023.
T.K. Waters became the second Black sheriff elected in Duval County history in November after defeating retired Assistant Chief Lakesha Burton by more than 10 points.
Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute founding director and political analyst Rick Mullaney said Dec. 12 that makes Waters’ election historic. Nat Glover, who served from 1995-2003, was the first person of color to hold the post in Jacksonville since Reconstruction.
The seat was left vacant when Sheriff Mike Williams retired after it came to light that he had moved his primary residence out of Duval County.
Waters was endorsed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in the race and had the backing of the local GOP.
Mullaney said Waters’ election was partially aided by a “red wave” in Florida and Jacksonville’s November elections that resulted in Republican majorities in the state House and Senate.
Waters was the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office chief of investigations before winning the special election.
Since taking office, Waters has held multiple public appearances and news conferences.
With other city elected officials, Waters addressed the murder investigation of 13-year-old Prince Holland in a televised news conference Dec. 5 at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office headquarters.
Waters used the conference to talk about the prevalence of gun violence in Duval County.
He also has commented on an ongoing investigation into prominent Northeast Florida businessman and political donor Kent Stermon that was active before Stermon was found dead Dec. 8 inside his vehicle at the Atlantic Beach Post Office on Mayport Road. The death is being investigated as a suicide.
Mullaney said he expects Waters will not announce any policy changes from Williams’ administration until after the March 2023 city election, when Waters will have to again run for the seat.