After the least talked about election ever on Tuesday, the 2007 Jacksonville City Council is set. The election cycle brought us ten new city council members (however two of them have previously served on the council). The new council will meet May 22nd to elect a President and Vice President. Daniel Davis is running unopposed for President, while Ronnie Fussell, Richard Clark, Mia Jones, and Art Graham are contending for Vice President.
Here are the 2007 City Council Members:
At Large Group 1
Incumbent Ronnie Fussell was one of many incumbent council members that drew no opposition in his reelection bid. Fussell, a Republican, will be someone who could move into leadership with this council, given his experience not only his elected experience in this position, but is experience working for former Mayor John Delaney.
At Large Group 2
The second time was the charm for Karl "Jay" Jabour. After losing a close race against District 5 member Art Shad in 2003, he soundly defeated Bob Harms. Jabour, a local businessman owns Karl's Mens Clothers in San Marco - and the ony at large council member that actually appeared on a ballot in 2007 - has also serverd on many boards in Jacksonville's Government, including the Downtown Development Authority.
At Large Group 3
Somehow, Stephen Joost managed to get elected to the City Council without appearing on the ballot. While this happens on occasion for incumbents, it is a bit rare for someone who has no previous elected experience to get a free pass. Joost, one of the founders of Firehouse Subs, raised over $100,000 in his "campaign"
At Large Group 4
Incumbent Kevin Hyde also got a free pass this time around, although people actually had to vote for him at some point (that some point was 2003). Hyde, a partner in the law form Foley and Lardner was planning to go to Tallahassee to work for Gov. Charlie Crist as Director of Management Services, but resigned before he even took the job."
At Large Group 5
The Urban Core at large group will once again be represented by Republican Glorious Johnson. A former teacher in the Duval County Public School System, Johnson also was unopposed after Dr. Gwen Chandler, former council member for this at large group, withdrew before qualifying.
In the Old Arlington district, 26 year old Clay Yarborough sought to bring "A New Name, A New Face, A New Start" to the City Council. Apparently, voters agreed. Yarborough won election with 56% of the vote over former school board member Cheryl Grymes.
Bill Bishop cruised to victory in District 2, which covers primarily the East Arlington and Hidden Hills areas. Bishop rode his previous experience with both city planning committees and community based committees to victory. A local architect, Bishop has served on many city boards and was involved with the creation of the Downtown Master Plan.
Richard Clark joined the council in 2005 after being elected to the seat when Jerry Holland vacated it to run for Supervisor of Elections. The President of Supreme Janitorial, Clark is currently running for Council Vice President.
In a tight race that includes the Downtown Core, Don Redman defeated George Banks in a campaign that turned a bit ugly in the weeks leading up to the election (A recent article in Folio Weekly that mentioned his unpaid child support and many marriages didn't help his image). His views on downtown were questioned when he mentioned during the campaign that he felt the Downtown Sidewalk Cafe Ordinance needed to be "Corrected".
Incumbent Art Shad defeated rival Leslie A. Goller in a bitter campaign for the Southside and San Marco seat. Neither candidate in district 5 was particularly popular, which was evident by the Times-Union's incredibly weak endorsement of Art Shad.
In Mandarin, Jack Webb defeated Sean Reichard despite being endorsed by both the Police and Fire Unions. Webb, the director of Labor and Employee Relations for CEVA Logistics, replaces incumbent Sharon Copeland, the only incumbent who could have sought re-election but chose not to.
In District 7, which includes historic Springfield and part of downtown, Democrat Johnny A. Gaffney defeated Carolyn Anderson. Gaffney replaces Pat Lockett-Felder, who has represented the district for the past eight years. No word on whether or not Gaffney will be erecting a statue of himself next to Lockett-Felder's.
It's deja vu in District 8, with Denise Lee back to represent northwest Jacksonville for another 4 years. The 21 year veteran of the Jacksonville City Council and the Florida House received about two thirds of the vote to earn a return trip to the council.
Warren Jones is back on the City Council. Jones, a former city council member for 20 years, defeated Fred Engness in the runoff election. Engness, who snuck into the runoff when six democrats split the vote in the primary election, received almost the same percentage of votes as in the Primary.
The very popular Mia Jones turned in the most dominating performance, earning about 85 percent of the vote.
Rural Jacksonville and Mayport Republican Ray Holt over Jack Daniels in the runoff election. Holt, a newspaper publisher on the northside, has been lauded for his attention to the northside residents, and won the race soundly.
Daniel Davis is back in District 12. Davis, who will most likely be council president for the next year (he's the only one running), has been rumored to be a mayoral candidate in 2011.
Art Graham drew no competition to represent the beaches district. Graham, a former Jacksonville Beach City Council Member, has been an advocate for not only the beaches, but also for Downtown as well. Look for him to move into leadership in the coming years.
In the Riveside/Avondale/Ortega/Argyle district, current Council President Michael Corrigan defeated Democrat Jim Minion and Dave "Beer Man" Siebert by earning over 65% of the vote.
The new council takes office on July 1, 2007.