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Republican Mayoral Hopeful Brosche Doubles Down On Courting Progressives

Abukar Adan
Republican Mayoral Candidate Anna Brosche gave a keynote speech about her bid to unseat incumbent Lenny Curry to a room full of Democratic City Council hopefuls and progressive advocates.

Jacksonville mayoral candidateAnna Brosche gave a keynote speech about her bid to unseat incumbent Lenny Curry to a room full of Democratic City Council hopefuls and progressive advocates.

The Women’s March of Jacksonville invited Brosche to the Sunday event who, along with fellow Republican Curry, is the anticipated frontrunners in a six-way race that has no Democratic candidates.

“I will say in advance while Women’s March does not endorse candidates, we can unequivocally state that we do not endorse the reelection of Curry for mayor,” said Women’s March of Jacksonville President Bonnie Hendrix, as she introduced Brosche at the IBEW Local 177 event.

Brosche’s campaign is actively courting progressives like Hendrix. Earlier this month, Brosche hired Democratic strategist and former Executive Director of the Florida Democratic Party Scott Arceneaux in an effort to build a bipartisan coalition to defeat Curry.

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That move led Duval County GOP Chairman Dean Black question Brosche’s loyalty to the Republican Party.

“It’s unfortunate that Brosche has decided to run against a popular and successful Republican mayor who enjoys broad bipartisan support,” said Black, in an email to WJCT. “What makes it all the more troubling is that she appears to be moving in lock-step with officials of the local Democratic Party who’s only objective is to obstruct Mayor Lenny Curry.”

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Curry has received endorsements from several Democrats, including North Florida Congressman Al Lawson and Jacksonville City Council member Tommy Hazouri.

Related: Duval Dems Oppose Curry, But Some Democratic Officials Support His Reelection

Sunday’s event was billed as an opportunity for the public to get to know progressive City Council members from all races, but the focus was on Brosche.

Hendrix said that’s because Brosche was relatively unknown in Democratic circles.

“We know what the Democrats stand for. We were not sure what she stood for, so we needed to hear that,” She said.  

Brosche addressed the string of violent crime in Jacksonville. She talked about the uptick in crime under Curry’s watch and investing in outreach programs for at risk youth, along with engaging a broad coalition of stakeholders to combat crime. 

She also delivered scathing remarks about the incumbent and his administration, calling them “vindictive”, “corrupt” and a “mafia of misfits,” which won her a standing ovation from the dozens of Democrats who attended the event.

“I think many who may have been uncomfortable or leery of her position walked away feeling more [of an] inclination to vote for her,” said Hendrix.

Hendrix said that some Democrats are warming up to Brosche in part because she’s the only viable candidate to unseat Curry.

“I think that some Democrats would like to hear a stronger, bolder voice, but we don’t have that candidate in the race,” she said. “So I think she will be the logical choice.”   

Even so, said Hendrix, she’s certain some Democrats will abstain from voting all together.

Abukar Adan is a former WJCT reporter who left the station for other pursuits in August 2019.