You Decide 2023: Deegan, Davis spar over Jacksonville issues

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The candidates for Jacksonville Mayor exchanged pleasantries and agreed over their love of Peanut M&M’s. But on nearly every issue facing Jacksonville, Donna Deegan and Daniel Davis had sharp disagreement and often sparred with each other’s claims during a lively forum Tuesday morning.

LISTEN: Jacksonville Mayoral Forum

Deegan pressed multiple times on what she calls ‘the same old same old’ - specifically citing campaign staff and others tied to Mayor Lenny Curry.

On pension and retirement planning for law enforcement, Deegan said she may have to look at the Florida Retirement System going forward.

“There’s gonna be some pain involved but I do think at the end of the day we’re going to have go back or at least look seriously at going back to a defined benefit. I don’t have a timetable on that.”, Deegan said.

Davis pushed back on multiple occasions, highlighting his experience as being the best to serve Jacksonville as a CEO. He said data will influence his decision-making on retirement plans for law enforcement.

“We’re gonna make decisions based on data. I would tell you that I have said all options are on the table. There’s not a city pension that I would be willing to bring back. I would be willing to look at a state FRS pension, if that is something that is data-proven.”, Davis said.

A majority of the conversation centered on crime, with both candidates sharing how they would increase JSO staff and invest in intervention/prevention programs.

DEPTH: Jacksonville Voter Guide

A poll released on April 17th by the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab showed Donna Deegan leading Daniel Davis by one percentage point.

Registered Duval County voters who are likely to vote in the May 16 election were asked their vote choices from April 10 - 11. Deegan has 48% support and Davis has 47% support. 5% of likely voters were undecided.

The margin of error on this poll is +/- 3.8%.

WATCH: Jacksonville Mayoral Debate on CBS 47/FOX 30 Action News Jax

Early voting begins on Monday, May 1. Turnout in early-mail-in ballots returned is just over 4%. Registered Democrats have a slight edge over Republicans.

Rich Jones

Rich Jones, News 104.5 WOKV

Rich Jones is the Host of Jacksonville’s Morning News. Rich joined WOKV in October 2006. Rich is involved in many community organizations and causes. Rich and his wife, Noelle, have three children: Avery, Harper and Austen.

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