Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

5 City Council Races Bound for Runoff; Newcomers Will Gain at Least 8 Seats

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

5 City Council Races Bound for Runoff; Newcomers Will Gain at Least 8 Seats

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Galnor, Times-Union staff writer

Five of the 19 Jacksonville City Council races are heading to political overtime -- a May 13 runoff.

At least three of the races will be won by political newcomers, bringing the number of new faces on the council to at least eight.

As many as 10 new members could be taking office July 1, with Republican incumbents Lad Daniels and Faye Rustin both needing to beat Democratic challengers next month to keep their at-large seats.

Demographically, the biggest change could be adding more men to the currently female-dominated council. The council now has 12 women, the most in Jacksonville's history, but the next group will have more than 10 women or as few as seven, depending on the results of the runoffs.

The council will add an African-American in Republican Art Graham, who won the District 13 seat in the Beaches, bringing the total to six. The council could also get younger, with 30-year-old Daniel Davis' victory in the District 12 seat on the Westside and three candidates in their early- to mid-30s locked into runoffs.

Politically, the council will remain predominantly Republican, though party politics rarely surface outside of the council's internal leadership elections each May. Twelve Republicans and seven Democrats make up the current council. The number of Republicans in the new group will be from 10 to 13, depending on the May elections.

Daniels, the council vice president who also runs the First Coast Manufacturers Association, will face Cathy Chadeayne-Goldman, executive director of Kesler Mentoring Connection.

Daniels, 64, is one of the stronger business advocates on the council and, with more than $169,000, raised the most money of any council candidate. Chadeayne-Goldman, 47, has touted her support of the voter-approved tree protection amendment and will likely use her pro-preservation stance to help create a clear choice between her and Daniels.

Rustin, a small-business owner, will battle retiree Ronald Higginbothom. Rustin, 53, is another staunch business backer and ran a television ad last week with Mayor John Delaney. …

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