Anna Lopez Brosche says her mayoral campaign will be about giving the city of Jacksonville back to the people.
At her first official campaign event at Bleu Chocolat Café in Springfield, the former City Council president criticized Mayor Lenny Curry and called the city’s violence problems a “Curry crime wave.”
“I am answering the call to be your next mayor of Jacksonville,” said Brosche to cheers from her supporters.
“I believe Jacksonville can do better, and I’m the one who can take us there,” said Brosche.
Latresa Hampton, who attended the event, liked what she heard.
“We need somebody that’s going to be for everybody to hear everybody, so we can all work together,” said Hampton.
Besides Brosche, there are four other candidates running for mayor against Curry. They are Omega Allen, Brian Griffin, Jimmy Hill and Johnny Sparks. No Democrats qualified for the race.
However, Curry’s political action committee, Jacksonville on the Rise, is focusing on Brosche.
The PAC released a “Fire Anna Brosche” ad that hit the airwaves well before she even filed to run.
Brosche focused much of her speech Friday on Jacksonville's crime problem.
“When we address the basic needs of our citizens, violence goes down. Public safety must be a priority, and the Curry crime wave has got to go,” said Brosche.
She also spoke about conducting an audit on city finances and investing in crime reduction but wouldn’t give specifics about her plan.
“I’m looking forward to revealing all that information over the next weeks,” said Brosche.
Brosche, a Republican, is running against an incumbent Republican mayor. Curry has deep ties to the local and state GOP, from which he’s enjoyed support.
For Brosche to have a chance, she’ll need votes from Democrats an Independents.
It’s a voting bloc that councilman and Curry critic Garrett Dennis said Brosche has a good chance at securing.
“I can almost guarantee that very few Democrats will, and minorities will vote for Lenny Curry,” said Dennis.
Council leaders and Sheriff Mike Williams are coming out in support of Curry.
In a joint statement with City Council President Aaron Bowman, council members Tommy Hazouri, Bill Gulliford, Lori Boyer and Sam Newby said in part, “As a councilmember, Brosche has been absent from important efforts, most recently a bipartisan push to make Jacksonville safer.”
Brosche responded to the criticism.
“I’m proud of my presidency and the things that we accomplished,” said Brosche. “They’re entitled to their opinions.”
But when asked to name her greatest achievement as council president, she didn’t answer and instead went to the next question.