‘I wanted love to win’: Donna Deegan to be Jacksonville’s first female mayor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Donna Deegan will be the next mayor of Jacksonville.

Not only will Deegan be the first Democrat to hold the office since 2015, but she’ll also be the first woman ever to lead the city.

“As much as I wanted to win this race for the people of Jacksonville, I wanted love to win,” said Mayor-Elect Deegan during her victory speech Tuesday night.

Deegan ran a campaign in which she refused to go down the road of negative ads, coming out on top against an opponent who didn’t shy away from attack ads and outspent her roughly three to one.


She told Action News Jax her historic victory represents a clear sign Jacksonville voters are tired of the status quo and are ready for change.

“I felt that energy on the ground. I told you it felt like where we were that we were getting a lot of crossovers, that we were getting a lot of folks who just wanted desperately that change in Jacksonville,” said Deegan.

The crossover appears to have manifested, with Deegan pulling out a victory despite Republicans outvoting Democrats overall.

Looking forward, Deegan will be up against a Republican-controlled city council, her opponent likely remaining at the helm of the JAX Chamber, and a sheriff that came out strong in his endorsement for her opponent.

“Daniel Davis was kind enough to call me a few minutes ago. He said he was looking forward to working with me to create the city that we all want. I have every belief that Sheriff Waters will do the same thing,” said Deegan.

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As for her day one plan, Deegan said it starts with a change in the culture at City Hall.

“The very first day I want to open up the blinds and let the sunshine in and the people into the city government,” said Deegan.

She’ll have the opportunity to make good on that promise starting July 1st when she officially takes the reigns.

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