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City Councilwoman Randy DeFoor won't seek reelection

District 14 City Councilwoman Randy DeFoor
Provided by Randy DeFoor
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District 14 City Councilwoman Randy DeFoor

Jacksonville City Councilwoman Randy DeFoor has decided not to seek re-election after one term.

The Republican from District 14 announced Wednesday that she's ending her political service and returning to the business world full time.

DeFoor is a senior vice president and national agency counsel for Fidelity National Financial. She defeated Democrat Sunny Gettinger by 51.2% to 48.8% in a runoff election in May 2019.

"It has been a tremendous honor to represent you, the citizens of District 14, on the City Council of Jacksonville. My love and gratitude for my constituents/neighbors only grew and continues to grow," DeFoor said in a news release.

"District 14 is special and the people who live there are special. These neighborhoods have been my home for all of my life, and generations of both sides of my family before me, so this was a venture of the heart, not politics, a call not an ambition."

The 14th district covers Avondale, Riverside and parts of the Westside. Four candidates have filed to run for the seat: Democrats Kevin Luhrs and Jimmy Peluso; Republican Matt McCullough; and Benjamin F. Sandlin, who has no party affiliation.

The first council election will be March 21, 2023, and the general election May 16, 2023. The candidate qualifying period is Jan. 9-13.

DeFoor was one of three council members appointed in January 2020 to investigate the effort to sell city-owned JEA. She also played a lead role in the city's effort to cope with climate change as chair of the city's Special Committee on Resiliency.

In January 2021, DeFoor joined six other council members to vote against an incentives deal for Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan's proposed Lot J entertainment venue west of TIAA Bank Field. The 12-7 vote fell one vote short of the number needed for approval.

DeFoor said the other candidates in District 14 were made aware, before they filed for election, that she planned to step aside. She said she may endorse a candidate "whom I feel has the ability and, equally critical, the integrity to serve all of us in District 14."

"A crucial determinant in my considerations will be with whom they affiliate as they undertake their campaign," she said.