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Mayoral candidates face off for the first time

Mayoral debate.jpeg
Raymon Troncoso
/
WJCT News
Mayoral candidates, from left, are Omega Allen, LeAnna Cumber, Donna Deegan, Al Ferraro, Andrew Gibson, Frank Kessler Jr. and Theresa Ann Richardson.

In a crowded debate that featured heavy time constraints, mayoral hopefuls met Monday at the Rotary Club to explain their positions on education, crime, business development and the environment.

Nine candidates are vying to be Jacksonville's next mayor, but only seven were on stage: former state Sen. Audrey Gibson (D), council members Leanna Cumber (R) and Al Ferraro (R), Theresa Richardson (D), Frank Keasler Jr. (R), Donna Deegan (D) and Omega Allen (NPA).

Daniel Davis (R), head of the JAX Chamber, declined to attend the event, while Darcy Richardson (IND) agreed to attend but pulled out hours before via email.

A hard stop time gave each candidate less than 10 minutes to speak and limited the debate to just four questions along with introductions and concluding statements.

For a rundown of the topics and answers, see our story at Jacksonville Today.

Reporter Raymon Troncoso joined WJCT News in June of 2021 after concluding his fellowship with Report For America, where he was embedded with Capitol News Illinois covering Illinois state government with a focus on policy and equity. You can reach him at (904) 358-6319 or Rtroncoso@wjct.org and follow him on Twitter @RayTroncoso.