JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The coveted endorsement from the Jacksonville chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police has gone to Republican mayoral candidate Daniel Davis.
The endorsement is a major pick up for the Davis campaign after failing to lock in the endorsement from the firefighters’ union last week.
Davis pulled 54 percent support from rank-and-file firefighters, but fell short of the 66 percent needed.
During the announcement ceremony Monday, Davis called the police union’s backing ‘the most coveted endorsement in the city’.
“You have protected my family and when I’m on the fourth floor of city hall I promise I’m going to protect your family,” said Davis.
Mayoral candidates Audrey Gibson, Al Ferraro and Donna Deegan said they weren’t surprised to see the endorsement go to Davis.
All committed to supporting law enforcement if they become mayor, despite not getting the endorsement themselves.
“I’ve been a very supportive member of the legislature on their issues, and I will make that known,” said former State Senator and Democratic mayoral candidate Audrey Gibson.
“Even if you don’t support me, I’m always gonna support everything to do with law enforcement. Making sure that the funding is there, the equipment,” said Republican mayoral candidate and City Councilmember Al Ferraro.
“It’s a very difficult job being a police officer and I think it’s important that we make sure that everybody is safer in the community,” said Democratic mayoral candidate Donna Deegan.
Unlike the firefighters’ union, which requires a two-thirds vote from its membership to grant an endorsement, the police union endorsements are decided by leadership.
FOP President Randy Reaves said it was Davis’ track record and legislative experience that earned him unanimous support among union leadership.
“We see around the nation what happens to cities when they have leadership that doesn’t back the men and women in law enforcement, and we are confident that he will always have the backs of law enforcement,” said Reaves.
UNF political science professor Dr. Michael Binder said the endorsement is likely to go a long way in the race, but historically, it’s not a silver bullet.
“I think 2011 and 2015 are the meaningful ones and if you look at that, they were close races and they won one and they lost one,” said Binder.
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