Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Runoffs Keep Candidates on the Run 14 Hopefuls Facing Month of Campaigning

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Runoffs Keep Candidates on the Run 14 Hopefuls Facing Month of Campaigning

Article excerpt

There was no time to rest or celebrate yesterday for 14 candidates for political office in Jacksonville.

Tuesday's election results left seven races headed toward a May 11 runoff, which means four more weeks of campaigning in the elections supervisor race and six City Council contests.

One of the closest battles occurred in the most crowded race, District 8, which had 10 candidates.

Gwen Yates and James Breaker, both Democrats, are in that runoff after Yates netted 37 percent of the vote to Breaker's 16 percent.

Breaker only had 10 more votes than the third-place finisher, Omega Allen.

Yesterday afternoon, Breaker and Yates already were back on the campaign trail hoping to pick up endorsements.

Yates said she was pleased at the votes she got but she wanted more.

"I will be out there talking to those same people, and our volunteers are already gathering support," Yates said. "Getting 37 percent with 10 people in there, you know we were working hard."

Other runoffs are in City Council District 9 with Democrats Reggie Fullwood and Audrey Gibson; At-large Group 1 with Republicans John Draper and Faye Rustin; At-large Group 2 with Republican Elaine Brown and Democrat Brian Smith; District 4 with Republican Gary Dickinson and Democrat Suzanne Jenkins; District 6 with Republican Bruce Scott and Democrat Mary Ann Southwell; and the elections supervisor race with Democrat Warren Jones and Republican John Stafford.

Winners were declared in 10 of Tuesday's 17 races, including Sheriff Nat Glover and Property Appraiser Ernie Mastroianni, as well as eight City Council positions.

Outgoing elections supervisor Tommie Bell said campaigning in a runoff can be physically draining.

"They know they have to go four more weeks and ask for more donations to continue," Bell said. "Many times you lose weight during this time, but you gain so much by meeting so many different people."

Stafford and Jones head into the runoff neck and neck, with Stafford taking 31 percent to Jones' 30 percent of the countywide vote. …

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