Jacksonville businessman Peter Rummell, a long-time supporter of Republican candidates, surprised the city’s business community and political crowd when he announced his support of Alvin Brown, a Democrat, in the race to be the city’s next mayor.
Now Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, has weighed in with his endorsement. No surprise this time – Bush backs the Republican, Mike Hogan.
“Mike Hogan is a common sense conservative with a detailed plan to cut wasteful spending and strengthen Jacksonville’s economy,” said Bush, in a statement on Hogan’s website.
“Mike stood with me in Tallahassee to cut taxes and fight for real education reform,” Bush added, referring to Hogan’s time in the Legislature as a member of the House of Representatives from 2000 to 2003. “He was a leader in finding conservative solutions to the challenges Florida faced, and I know Mike will do what’s right for the people of Jacksonville.”
Rummell’s endorsement came with a contribution of $150,000 to the Brown campaign and a pledge to raise $150,000 more. Bush, it appears, made no such contribution or promise, but Hogan is not complaining. He needed a big name after Rummell’s headline-grabbing announcement, and in Florida, Jeb Bush certainly qualifies as big.
“I respected Jeb’s leadership as Governor tremendously, and I am humbled by his endorsement,” Hogan said in the statement. “No one understands Jacksonville’s importance to our entire state more than Governor Bush and I am grateful to him for his support.”
Hogan is Duval County’s tax collector, and Brown is executive in residence at Jacksonville University’s Davis College of Business. Voters will choose between the two candidates in a runoff election May 17.
Contributing Editor Bill Edmonds is a consultant in communications in Tallahassee, Florida. A native of Virginia, he has worked in the Florida capital for three decades in journalism, in public affairs and in communications. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s in American Studies from Florida State University.