Democrat Donna Deegan wins Jacksonville mayoral race, defeating DeSantis-backed rival

May 19, 2023

Democrat Donna Deegan pulled a major upset on Tuesday, May 16—defeating her GOP rival in the runoff mayoral election in Jacksonville, Florida, reports HuffPost.

Deegan secured 52% of the vote, according to The Associated Press, prevailing over Daniel Davis, who was endorsed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R); and making history as the first woman elected to the post.

Deegan will succeed outgoing Republican Lenny Curry, who had to step down due to term limits.

Jacksonville, the 13th-biggest U.S. city, had been the largest city led by a GOP mayor, according to CNN.

“Everybody said it could not be done in Jacksonville, Florida,” Deegan said following her victory. “We did it because we brought the people inside.”

Her win was celebrated by party leaders, including Nikki Fried, the Florida Democratic Party chair.

The contest went to a runoff race after no candidate secured 50% of the vote in the first round. Deegan came out ahead, but with only 39.4% of the vote.

Deegan, a former local TV news anchor, founded a nonprofit called the DONNA Foundation to support cancer patients and survivors after her own bout with the disease. She is a three-time breast cancer survivor.

Research contact: @HuffPost