It’s Time for a Woman to Be Mayor of Jacksonville

The time to elect a new mayor is just around corner. Now is the time to elect a woman to run City Hall! Lenny Curry has been in office for four years, and his governing style has been nothing but bullying and vindictive. As Ron Littlepage once wrote in the Florida Times-Union, “[Curry] doesn’t take kindly to being challenged.” Another Times-Union columnist, Nate Monroe, stated that Curry has been “thin-skinned and suspicious.”

Curry’s bullying style is epitomized in his appointment of Brian Hughes as his chief of staff. Regarding Hughes, Ron Littlepage wrote that he “has a well-known nasty streak a mile wide.” Folio Weekly reported that one important Republican in town had called him “a classic bully.” Hughes’ brusque style was demonstrated shortly after his appointment, in an encounter with Jeneen Sanders, executive assistant to then-Council President Anna Lopez Brosche. Sanders was so upset that she filed a complaint against him, alleging that he had made her “uncomfortable based on his aggressive tone.” After a brief, two-day investigation, the City’s General Counsel, Jason Gabriel, found that Hughes had not violated any laws or policies.

But no one absolved Hughes of being a bully.

In fact, News 4 Jax reacted to the episode with a story titled “‘Boy’s Club’ running City Hall?” The article noted that Curry, Hughes and Tim Baker, another Curry aide, had even called themselves “the boys.” In other words, Jacksonville is being run by a brand new “good ol’ boys club” of out-of-towners. Needless to say, women are not invited.

Contrast Curry’s behavior to that of Brosche. Where Curry excludes, Brosche includes. Despite the fact that she is a Republican—and African Americans tend to vote heavily Democratic—Brosche appointed four African-American councilmembers to the powerful finance committee during her time as Council President. She also supported the creation of a civil rights task force. During her current mayoral campaign, she has visited 22 church services and nearly as many barbershops and beauty salons. She has walked every store in the Norwood Plaza Flea Market and every store in the Gateway Town Center. Most GOP politicians rarely visit the Northwest area at all.

Need an example? The Emanuel Missionary Baptist Church had a mayoral debate on March 4, 2019, to address specific issues of importance to the African-American community. Three of the mayoral candidates came to the debate. The fourth candidate, Lenny Curry, skipped it. Simply put, he didn’t think that it was important for him to speak to Jacksonville’s African-American voters about problems they want addressed in their community.

You see, one side is bullying, vindictive, thin-skinned and suspicious, while the other side reaches a hand across the aisle in an effort to find bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing Jacksonville and specifically the Northwest side of town.

Considering the above, it’s easy to conclude that now is the time for a woman to run the city.