BY Richard Moorhead, The Western JournalMay 17, 2023
10 months ago

GOP Faces Major Upset as Democrat Flips Seat in Largest Republican-Controlled City

Reports of the Democratic Party's demise in Florida might be premature.

Democrat Donna Deegan secured an upset victory over Republican Daniel Davis on Tuesday in Jacksonville's mayoral election.

Deegan triumphed in a closely contested and high-dollar city election, according to The Florida Times-Union.

The local television anchor declared victory with more than 52 percent of the vote in the election's runoff phase.

Deegan cited crossover votes from Republicans and independents as instrumental to her victory, according to the Times-Union.

“When we were out the last several weeks, I mean, I can’t tell you how many people from across the political spectrum reached out to me and said, ‘We want you to know, I’ve never voted for a Democrat before. I’m going to vote for you,'" she said.

Davis, an executive of the city's Chamber of Commerce, conceded on election night.

In population, Jacksonville is the largest city with a Republican mayoral in the nation, according to NBC News.

Deegan, who takes office July 1, secured her close victory in a contest where more registered Republican voters cast ballots than Democrats, according to the Times-Union.

The Democratic flip of the mayoralty followed a November midterm election in which the party was roundly defeated in Florida.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis won re-election in the gubernatorial race by nearly 20 points.


Afterward, he described the Florida Democratic Party as a "dead, rotten carcass."

Former President Donald Trump responded to the GOP loss Tuesday by mocking DeSantis, who had endorsed the losing candidate.

"Wow! In a big upset, the DeSanctimonious backed Republican candidate for Mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, LOST," Trump said on Truth Social. "This is a shocker."

Supporters of DeSantis -- who is likely to challenge Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination -- countered by saying top Trump adviser Susan Wiles, a prominent figure in Jacksonville politics, had dragged down Davis.

Others blamed the defeat on discord between supporters of the two GOP leaders.

"The Republican base was too busy infighting about Trump vs DeSantis for the 2024 primaries," Trending Politics' Collin Rugg said on Twitter.

"Play stupid games, win stupid prizes," he said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Richard Moorhead, The Western Journal



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