Howland, Polson continue campaign push ahead of Jacksonville city council election

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two Jacksonville candidates are busy preparing for Tuesday’s runoff election to fill the seat of the late and former councilman Tommy Hazouri.

Republican Nick Howland and Democrat Dr. Tracye Polson are both running for the at-large, group three seat. Both candidates shared plans for how they’d go about cutting down on crime in the city.

Howland is a Navy veteran and a father of two. He told Action News Jax back in December his plan is to tackle crime with more police officers. He added that JSO is short by about 300, and he plans to focus on recruitment and retention. Howland also plans to bring more jobs to Jacksonville by expanding targeted industries to more logistics and manufacturing jobs for the middle class.

Action News Jax caught up with Howland before the election. He said the election is a “referendum on public safety.”

“Do you support the men and women of JSO? If you do, you vote for me,” Howland said in an interview Monday. “And when I win tomorrow, it will be a clear message that this city supports our police.”

Polson is a licensed clinical social worker and a mother. She told Action News Jax she’d combat crime by expanding JSO’s co-responder program, ensuring mental health professionals go along with officers on mental health calls.

Polson also shared plans to bring the city, state, and federal government together to tackle climate change.

“People have really said that they are ready for some new leadership and ready for somebody who listens and really cares about the city. I feel like that’s Tommy Hazouri’s legacy and I want to continue that legacy,” she told Action News Jax.

On Monday, Duval’s Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan said 77,000 people had already voted. He’s expecting 35-to-40,000 more voters Tuesday. Hogan says if that’s the case, that’ll be upward of a 17 percent voter turnout.

Usually only up to 12 percent of voters regularly vote, Hogan explained. He’s also reminding voters that if you’re voting on election day, you have to vote in your precinct.

If you don’t know where your precinct is, you can find it on the sample ballot, the Supervisor of Elections’ website, or your voter information card.

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