Eight candidates running for mayor of Jacksonville, Florida

Eight candidates are running in the general election for mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, on March 21, 2023. All candidates run in the general election regardless of party affiliation. If no candidate receives a majority of votes in the general, the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff on May 16, 2023.

Donna Deegan (D), Audrey Gibson (D), LeAnna Cumber (R), Daniel Davis (R), and Al Ferraro (R) have led the field in media coverage and fundraising. Incumbent Mayor Lenny Curry (R) is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.

The Florida Times-Union’s Nate Monroe wrote that Jacksonville’s mayoral election system is “a recipe that complicates conventional electoral math and can lead to surprises, and it makes larger fields with multiple viable candidates, as this year appears to feature, difficult to handicap.”

Deegan and Gibson are the only two Democrats who filed to run. Deegan is a philanthropist, author, and local television news anchor. Gibson represented Jacksonville in the Florida State Senate from 2016 to 2022, after serving in the Florida House of Representatives from 2002 to 2010.

Cumber, Davis, and Ferarro represent three of the four Republicans who filed to run. Cumber is a business owner and member of the Jacksonville City Council, representing District 5. Davis is the chief executive officer of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and a former member of the Florida House of Representatives. Ferraro is a business owner and member of the Jacksonville City Council, representing District 2.

Frank Keasler (R), Omega Allen (I), and write-in candidate Brian Griffin (I) are also running.

Jacksonville has had a Republican mayor since Curry was first elected in 2015, making it the most populous American city represented by a Republican mayor. In 2015, Curry defeated then-incumbent Alvin Brown (D) 51% to 49% in the May runoff election. The 2019 mayoral election was decided in the March general election, with Curry receiving 58% of the vote over Anna Lopez Brosche’s (R) 24%, Omega Allen’s (I) 11%, and Jimmy Hill’s (R) 8%.

As of January 2023, the partisan breakdown of the mayors of the 100 largest U.S. cities was 62 Democrats, 26 Republicans, three independents, and seven nonpartisans. Two mayors’ partisan affiliations were unknown. Based on 2020 population estimates, 76.1% of the population of the top 100 cities lived in cities with Democratic mayors, and 16.23% lived in cities with Republican mayors at the start of 2022.