Democratic candidate for Jacksonville mayor Donna Deegan was victorious in elections on Tuesday, ending up on her way to becoming the first woman to serve as chief executive in the highly populated Florida city. Over 217,000 votes were cast, and Deegan finished with some 52 percent of the total, defeating a Republican challenger who had the support of the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.
Jacksonville, where Deegan will be replacing a Republican incumbent, had been the largest city by population in the entire United States where the GOP held the mayor’s office. “Together, we will bring change for good to Jacksonville by making good on the decades-long broken promises on infrastructure, building an economy that works for everyone and improving access to healthcare,” Deegan, who also has a history of working in journalism, said on Twitter after her victory. “We will break down the wall between City Hall and bring all the people in to create a city that works for everyone.”
Unlike others in the GOP corner, Daniel Davis, who was Deegan’s Republican challenger, conceded. While concession isn’t legally required, it’s a conventional sign of the losing candidate stepping aside so the voters’ choice can take on their new role. As recapped by CNN, Davis’s camp tried to depict Deegan as a threat to the orderly functioning of law and order. His corner used Deegan’s claimed participation in protests after the murder of George Floyd in 2020 in clearly unsuccessful advertisements targeting her. Davis is a former state legislator, while besides her journalism work, Deegan also previously made a run for Congress and has helmed charity efforts benefiting individuals facing breast cancer.
In another race for mayor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Republicans also lost on Tuesday. The city had been among the top ten by population where a member of the party was mayor. The new mayor in that city will be Yemi Mobolade, who is an independent but is generally supported by Democrats. With over 117,000 votes cast in the Colorado Springs race, Mobolade had over 57 percent of the total, though the tabulation wasn’t done. Both the Jacksonville and Colorado Springs races were runoffs, meaning participating candidates were the top two finishers from a previous election in which no contender passed 50 percent.
Love won tonight, and we made history. We have a new day in Jacksonville because people chose unity over division—creating a broad coalition of people across the political spectrum that want a unified city. Together, we will bring change for good to Jacksonville by making good on… pic.twitter.com/ZmV5pmV4gd
— Donna Deegan (@DonnaDeegan) May 17, 2023