Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tea Party Endorses Hogan for Mayor; the Local Group Lauds His Character, Integrity

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tea Party Endorses Hogan for Mayor; the Local Group Lauds His Character, Integrity

Article excerpt

Byline: JIM SCHOETTLER

Jacksonville mayoral candidate Mike Hogan received a much-coveted, unanimous endorsement from the First Coast Tea Party Wednesday.

"We believe character counts," said Billie Tucker, the group's co-founder. "His message has been consistent and principled. His demeanor reflects the courage of his convictions."

Tucker said Hogan, a Republican who refers to himself as a "rock-solid fiscal conservative," was chosen by a 15-0 vote based on his: alignment with tea party values, ability to tackle pension issues, experience in labor negotiations, work in private and public sectors, long-time constitutent service and promise not to raise taxes.

She also said his knowledge of "the good, the bad and the ugly" of local politics was an important factor. Hogan served eight years on the City Council, three years in the Legislature and has been tax collector since 2003.

"He knows where the dead bodies are," Tucker joked.

Hogan did not return calls seeking comment and later issued a statement accepting the endorsement.

Tucker called mayoral candidate Rick Mullaney a "good guy" but added that Hogan most closely represented her group and its values. She said the group did not consider it a big issue that Hogan recently joked that bombing an abortion clinic may cross his mind, a comment he apologized for a day after making it before an audience at a Catholic church.

"Everybody has slips of the tongue and he apologized for that," she said.

Hogan adds the endorsement to about a dozen others he's picked up, including those of the police and fire unions and local builders.

Other mayoral candidates who actively sought the nod were Mullaney, a Republican, and Warren Lee, a Democrat.

Mullaney said he wanted to remind voters he is a true conservative who is not beholden to unions and has a plan to cut spending, not raise taxes, and to grow jobs. …

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