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Optimism abounds in Jacksonville mayoral campaigns in home stretch

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The polls between Alvin Brown and Lenny Curry keep bouncing around within the margin of error; appropriate, given that their campaigns have been messaging to two different Jacksonvilles in many ways. That’s not their fault. Since consolidation, Jacksonville has always been a city with pretty obvious fault lines, and the smart money is on a 51/49 election. The Brown and Curry campaigns have their GOTV games in high gear. The Curry side hit its 200,000th door today, according to Lenny’s Twitter, and…

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Florida Times-Union: Tone deaf on the reality of gun violence

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On Thursday, an incident happened in Jacksonville’s Westside that shocked the collective conscience of the city. Two girls, riding home from school, shot in their heads. This was in broad daylight on their school bus, and they were shot by two teenage assailants who got onto the bus and wreaked their havoc. Mayor Alvin Brown was quick to issue a statement: “As a father, today’s violence directed at our children horrifies me. We cannot tolerate this kind of cowardice. This tragedy…

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In Jacksonville, Alvin Brown and Lenny Curry headed to photo finish

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Just over a year ago, the biggest Alvin Brown backer in 2011, Peter Rummell, made headlines when he renounced his previous support for the incumbent mayor and signaled his support for Lenny Curry, who had limited name recognition and was perceived by the Jacksonville media as having no real shot at displacing the mayor, whose approval ratings were in the 50s. Since then, things have changed. Curry spent the better part of the year building name recognition while making the case, over…

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Bill Nelson files federal bill blocking seismic testing off Florida

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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says he filed legislation that he says would block a federal plan to allow oil and gas exploration off Florida’s Atlantic coast. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is considering 10 permits to allow seismic testing from Delaware south to about Melbourne off the coast of Florida. There is no timeline on a permitting decision because they involve multiple agencies, a bureau spokesman said. Environmental groups and 75 scientists have asked President Barack Obama to halt the program because…

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In Tallahassee, Mayor Alvin Brown calls on statehouse to expand health care

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Just three weeks before a May 19 runoff election that will decide whether the incumbent Jacksonville mayor is retained or replaced by the hard-charging Republican campaign of former state Republican Chair Lenny Curry, Mayor Alvin Brown came up to the fourth floor of the Capitol — where the magic happens — to call on the House to take action in favor of expanding healthcare coverage. In remarks that were at times drowned out by the ambient bustle of legislative business, Brown made…

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Greg Goddard headed to Hillaryworld to be her Florida finance director

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According to an announcement-day social media post from a source familiar the Hillary Clinton campaign, former Charlie Crist for Governor Finance Director Greg Goddard will be Hillary Clinton’s finance chief in Florida. “Jaret [Davis of Greenberg Traurig, a well-known figure in Florida Democratic circles], you should get to know Greg. He’s one of my very best friends in the world and the new Florida finance director! You’re in good hands and if he acts up you can call me.” The name Greg is linked to Greg…

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Alvin Brown campaign endorsed by convicted killer?

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The Alvin Brown campaign has distanced itself from the endorsement of Zakee Fur’qan, who apparently changed his name from Leon Edward Nelson, who was convicted of second-degree murder and felony-level robbery. This past month Brown’s campaign touted Fur’qan’s endorsement. On Friday, though, it had scrubbed all mention of Fur’qan from the mayor’s campaign’s website and issued a statement condemning Fur’qan/Nelson’s actions. In 1991, Nelson was convicted of second-degree murder. He was released in 1998. In 2000, Leon Edward Nelson changed his name to…

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