Jacksonville, Florida, isn't a liberal city: Marco Rubio won its precincts by 10 points in 2022, a Republican sheriff recently trounced his opposition in a special election, and it is the largest city in America with a GOP mayor. Yesterday, though, it unexpectedly flipped blue. Donna Deegan will be only the second Democrat mayor there since 1993.
Democrat Donna Deegan won the Jacksonville mayor's race Tuesday night, a shocking upset that hands Florida Democrats a major shot of energy less than six months after they were trounced in the 2022 midterms and considered left for dead by the national party.
Deegan came into Election Day as the decided underdog against Republican Daniel Davis, who is the head of the city's Chamber of Commerce and had a significant fundraising advantage. He was endorsed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, but that support was lukewarm. DeSantis did not do events with Davis or put his political muscle behind his candidacy.
With all of the city's 186 precincts reporting, Deegan had a 52% to 48% advantage over Davis, who was vying to replace current Republican Mayor Lenny Curry, who was term-limited.
For non-MAGA Republicans and conservatives, there is the idea of Ron DeSantis, which led him to win Jacksonville by 12 points. And then there is actually seeing him talk and move in a constantly-televised way, and the enthusiasm turns into that remark about how the uncanny valley proves there was once an evolutionary reason to fear things that looked human but weren't.