• Thousands of people change party affiliation in Duval County

    By: Larry Spruill

    Updated:

    Monday is the deadline for local voters to register or change party affiliations for the August primary.

    Since April, more 2,000 voters switched from Democrats to Republicans in Duval County.

    “I've seen some Democrats in here this week, that I know they’re lifelong Democrats,” said Mike Hogan, Supervisor of Elections in Duval. "It’s primarily about the two races, the Public Defender and the State Attorney’s Office."

    Only Republicans will be allowed to vote in those primaries because no Democrats are running for either office and there is a write-in candidate.

    “That’s a very important position in this community and being prohibited from voting because of the closing, due to the write-in-candidate, doesn’t sit well with a lot of folks,” said Hogan.


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    That’s why long-time Democrat voter Diallo Sekou changed party affiliations.

    “When it’s closed primary, and predominately black people in Jacksonville are Democrats, then they have no voice," Sekou said. 

    Hogan said switching parties has its pros and cons.

    “When they do change from Democrat to Republican, there may be some Democrat races that they would like to vote in in August, that they can’t,” said Hogan.

    A huge race on the Democratic ballot is the Democratic 5th Congressional District Primary. Indicted Congresswoman Corrine Brown is facing two Democratic challengers, but as of now Hogan said Democrats who switched to Republican can’t vote in that race.

    Voters will cast their ballots on August 30.

    A lawsuit was filed to open the State Attorney’s race to all voters for the primary.

    It calls the write-in candidate Kenneth Leigh a sham candidate and said he only registered to close the primary to Democrats. The case lost in a Florida appeals court.

    The State Supreme Court has not decided whether it will hear the case. 

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