Mayor, State Attorney and Sheriff receive high job approval in new UNF poll, City Council less so

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville voters seem to be generally happy with their local elected officials, according to a new UNF poll.

All scoring over 60% approval, Mayor Donna Deegan, Sheriff T.K. Waters, and State Attorney Melissa Nelson are solidly in the green when it comes to approval of their job performance, according to the new poll.


UNF political science professor Dr. Michael Binder explained, for the most part, those results are fairly typical.

“We’ve been polling on job approvals for better than a decade now for local city officials and generally speaking the mayor is above water and the sheriff is above water,” Binder said.

But one local government entity is having a rougher time than the others: City Council.

With just 47% of voters saying they approve of the job the council is doing, compared to 42% who disapprove, the city’s legislative branch is barely pulling a net positive approval rating.

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Again, Dr. Binder said generally speaking, the results mesh with previous surveys as legislative branches tend to have a worse image than those in the executive or judicial branches of government.

“It’s the same concept of Congress, right? You love your congressman, but you hate Congress. You know, you might like your city Councilmember for your district or even maybe a few that are at-large that represent you, but as a whole, you don’t necessarily like the entire body,” Binder said.

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Binder argued there are plenty of opportunities for council to make a good impression on the horizon with the stadium deal, the potential revisiting of an entertainment district near the stadium, and the proposed relocation of the jail.

They’re all issues incoming council president Randy White (R-District 12) will likely have to navigate over the next year.

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