Jax mayoral race heats up as negative ads hit the airwaves

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The race to become Jacksonville’s next mayor has begun and the first attack ad has already been launched.


An ad paid for by Republican candidate Daniel Davis’ political action committee hit their airwaves during the holidays attacking Republican candidate and councilmember LeAnna Cumber.

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The ad paints Cumber as a ‘fake conservative’, a label she rejected in a video posted to Twitter.

“I’m a mom, a small business owner and a former teacher,” said Cumber.

In an interview, Cumber told Action News Jax she’s not surprised Davis is singling her out.

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“He clearly sees me as his main opponent and the biggest threat,” said Cumber.

While Davis may be the first to go negative on the airwaves, Cumber has also put out campaign materials and statements targeting Davis.

In a statement issued the day Davis entered the race, Cumber called him ‘President of the More-of-the-Same Club’.

UNF political science professor Dr. Michael Binder said it may seem odd for Republicans to be targeting each other, rather than the Democrats in the running.

But he said it makes sense, because only one Republican is likely to make it to the May runoff election.

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“And if only one is gonna make it that means the other one is going home,” said Binder.

Davis has raised $5.4 million so far, Cumber $3.5 million and Democrat Donna Deegan $830,000.

Binder said with all that cash in play, Jacksonville residents can expect the bombardment of negative ads, especially between Republicans, to increase exponentially as March approaches.

“And then come the end of March you’re going to see a whole bunch of negative ads against democrats by Republicans,” said Binder.

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Action News Jax reached out to Davis’ campaign for comment on this story, but didn’t hear back.

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