Mayoral candidate Omega Allen is a Jacksonville native and businesswoman with a Ph.D. in public administration.
Omega, who is running with no party affiliation, served as business training coordinator for a youth ex-offender program with the Jacksonville Urban League. In recent years, she served as program manager of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and chair of the Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Trust Fund Advisory Committee.
“I've been a member of both parties at one point in time. And once I saw the scene workings and both of them knowing that the agendas of the parties are so far removed from what the agendas are for the people of Jacksonville, I decided I didn't want to be a party to any of that. And the only way that people can self-govern is to have no strings upon their leaders. And that's where I want to look to lead from a position with no strings on me.” Allen said Thursday on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross in addressing why she is not affiliated with either party.
- Listen to the entire interview with Hill on Thursday's First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross
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Allen believes in a participatory government so that citizens can be involved. She wants to look into all the arrangements that have been made on behalf of citizens of Jacksonville to see if they are truly beneficial. Allen supports legislation that protects LGBTQ human rights.
“Crime is not a culture and violence is not a disease that's to be cured. You deal with crime and criminal elements by infusing an area with economic development, getting jobs with higher paying wages and money into the hands of the people living the entrepreneurs, then you start to fight the crime.” Allen said in addressing how to deal with the crime problem in Jacksonville.
Allen is CEO of the Goodly Group, which she says does residential and commercial building. She does not see any conflicts between being a contractor and being mayor and said that she will stay away from city contracts because that would be a conflict of interest.
First Coast Connect asked Allen about a Florida Politics report on the campaign, that reads in part, "Some have contended that Allen is a plant for the Curry political operation. Allegations have flown that the Mayor’s team paid her filing fee."
Allen's response was: "That is absurd I am determined to take his job. Why would I collaborate with him on anything?"
She further stated that:
“You know actually what I believe is that the fix was actually in that he was planning to win and Miss Brosche was put in to basically get name recognition. Otherwise,why would he have spent so much money and time giving her name recognition before she even filed or qualified? And I was the spoiler but not because he put me in, I spoiled his plan and hers. She is apparently getting name recognition taking one for the team, if you will, and going to get in position for the next four because he was planning to win this one but I'm upsetting that.”
We reached out to both Lenny Curry's and Anna Brosche's campaigns for comment.
Curry's campaign replied stating that: "We do not respond to unsourced rumors but we do think Dr. Allen is an accomplished professional and passionate advocate for Jacksonville who has campaigned hard for Mayor this year, as well as four years ago. She is always focused on big ideas and bringing people together to accomplish things for our city."
Brosche's campaign had not responded by the time of this story's publication. If WJCT receives a response this story will be updated.
Amanda Brannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-358-6317.