Rachal is up against current Group 3 City Councilman Tommy Hazouri, a Democratic former Jacksonville mayor, who will appear on Thursday’s episode of First Coast Connect.
Rachal is originally from Central Louisiana and has lived in Jacksonville for almost 30 years. He served in two branches of the military, the Marines and the Air Force and recently retired from UPS after 22 years.
Rachal currently serves on the Taxation, Revenue and Expenditure Commission for the City of Jacksonville and has served as district commissioner for the Boys Scouts of America, is a former member of the Southwest Jackosnville Citizens Planning Advisory Committee, the Sheriff’s Advisory Council, Westside Business Leaders Club and is a graduate of the Northeast Florida Regional Leadership Academy as well as a member of the American Legion Post #400.
Rachal said he sees Jacksonville as a city of the future and said his main priority would be to reduce crime by stepping up community policing and implementing the “broken window” theory of policing: increasing officers’ presence and interaction where there are visible signs of crime.
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“You don’t want police officers going to neighborhoods where people are fearful or don’t want to talk or don’t want to share with it. So you do that by getting out of the cars and meeting with the small business owners and understanding the faith-based businesses and things like that so we can get where we need to go,” Rachal said.
As for why he’s challenging Hazouri, Rachal said the city need a new perspective when it comes to getting things done. Asked whether he’d vote against the priorities of Mayor Lenny Curry, Rachal said, “When two people always agree, one person is not needed,” and he doesn’t mind “standing alone.”
Rachal also said he believes it would be better to repurpose The Jacksonville Landing instead of demolishing it, and that JEA is an asset and “you don’t sell assets.”
Hear his entire interview on Tuesday's First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross.
Amanda Brannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-358-6317.