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JSO Chief Mat Nemeth Enters Race For Jacksonville Sheriff

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Mat Nemeth, Republican for Sheriff
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JSO Chief of Special Events Mat Nemeth is running for Jacksonville sheriff.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Chief Mat Nemeth is the first Republican to announce he’s running for sheriff in 2023.

Nemeth, who is JSO’s Chief of Special Events, announced his candidacy Thursday, saying in an email to WJCT News: “After 33 years of dedicated law enforcement service and achieving the rank of Chief, I am more passionate than ever about ensuring the protection of our citizens and Jacksonville’s bright future.”

Nemeth launched his campaign quoting Dr. Martin King Jr.: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” The JSO veteran said he would listen to all citizens and work closely with neighborhoods, business partners, churches, and elected officials.

Saying he has identified a number of areas in JSO that can be streamlined, Nemeth believes the result would be “faster response times, better protection of our citizens, and reducing violent crime, traumatic traffic injuries and deaths.”

So far, two Democrats have also filed to run for sheriff: Lakesha Burton and Wayne Clark.

Of the two, Burton has an early fundraising edge. She’s raised more than $74,000, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Duval County Supervisor of Elections, while no campaign finance reports are listed yet for Clark.

Burton's campaign finance reports listed to date on the county's website reflect only a partial total of her campaign warchest. Florida Politics reported June 10 that Burton has raised nearly $500,000:

Most of the action has been on the committee level, with $435,000 through two months. Additionally, Burton has raised just over $36,000 in hard money in the same period. - Florida Politics, June 10

Burton is a 22-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and was the first candidate to announce to replace Sheriff Mike Williams, who is term-limited.

Related: Lakesa Burton Wants To Be Jacksonville's First Black Female Sheriff

Clark recently retired from the Duval County School Police where he was an assistant chief, according to WJCT News partner News4Jax.

Like Clark, no campaign finance reports were available yet for Nemeth.

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