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Rutherford Beats Deegan In District 4 Congressional Race

Congressman John Rutherford  (R-FL4) and Democratic challenger Donna Deegan
Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL4) and Democratic challenger Donna Deegan

District 4 Republican Congressman John Rutherford has fended off a political challenge from longtime TV anchor and founder of one Jacksonville’s biggest marathons, Democrat Donna Deegan.

He is beating Deegan 57.33% to 42.56% with 117 of 124 precincts reporting.

This will be Rutherford’s third term in Congress after retiring from a career in law enforcement that culminated in being elected Jacksonville’s sheriff.

Related: Returns, Local, State And National Election News

Deegan, who is the founder of the Donna Marathon, The Donna Foundation and a former First Coast News anchor, said she went into the race with her “eyes wide open,” realizing the popular Republican would be tough to unseat.

During their only debate, Deegan said she would have done “just about everything differently” when discussing  how the pandemic has been handled. But Rutherford countered, saying the president acted quickly.

“The actual impact of this pandemic was not known at this time.  We didn’t know how badly this was going to go, and so we locked down the greatest economy this country has ever seen,” Rutherford said.

During the campaign, Rutherford said he was proud of working in a bipartisan way, and his office pointed to a 2019 Georgetown University and Lugar Center a congressional bipartisan index, which ranked him No. 41 out of 437 House members and No. 2 in Florida when it comes to working across the aisle.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.