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Two chances next week to hear from election candidates

A public forum for mayoral and City Council election candidates is set for Monday night at WJCT Studios in jacksonville, presented by the Women’s Giving Alliance and the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center.

Then Beaches Watch will sponsor a separate mayoral forum April 28, also open to the public.

Here are details about each event.


Monday's forum starts at 5:30 p.m. at WJCT Studios, 100 Festival Park Ave. Candidates will be questioned specifically about issues affecting women and girls in Duval County.

“Both of our organizations have been focused on enhancing the wellbeing of women and girls ever since we were founded,” WGA President Sheila Collier said in a news release. “This forum is intended to give upcoming runoff election candidates the opportunity to discuss their perspective on policies and practices surrounding key issues that are disproportionately impacting women and girls in our community.”

Vicky Basra, Weaver Policy Center's president and CEO, said: “It is critical for our elected officials to understand the issues facing women and girls today. It is also important we, as a community, understand where candidates stand on the issues that affect our lives."

The races May 16 include mayor, seven City Council positions and Duval County property appraiser. Early voting begins Monday, although mail ballots are already being counted.

Basra will moderate Monday's forum. Each candidate will receive the same questions and be allocated three minutes to respond. Each round of questions will begin with a different candidate so each has the opportunity to respond first to a question.

Questions from the audience will not be allowed. Registration is required as seating is limited.

More information about the candidates can be found in Jacksonville Today's Voters Guide.


Both mayoral candidates, Republican Daniel Davis and Democrat Donna Deegan, have been invited to the Beaches Watch debate at 7 p.m. Friday at Beaches Vineyard Church, 751 Atlantic Blvd. in Atlantic Beach.

Established in 2004 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic organization, Beaches Watch promotes citizen involvement in local and state government decisions that affect the quality of life in Beach communities.

“We look forward to hearing from the mayoral candidates so Beaches voters can learn about the candidates’ positions on issues important to the Beaches and make an informed decision when they vote,” Beaches Watch President Maria Mark said in a news release.

More information about the races, polling information and a sample ballot can be found at

Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years as a radio, television and print reporter in the Jacksonville area, as well as years of broadcast work in the Northeast. You can reach Dan at, (904) 607-2770 or on Twitter at @scanlan_dan.