JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — First Coast News was the first to call the Jacksonville mayoral race in favor of Donna Deegan. She joined GMJ on Wednesday morning to discuss her run-off victory.
Deegan explained her method of campaigning in neighborhoods where other politicians do not usually go in an effort to "bring people inside city hall."
When asked what her first move as mayor will be, Deegan said she plans to "throw open the blinds and let the sunshine in" with intentional transparency in Jacksonville's government. She said she will make an effort to create more diversity, allowing residents to feel included in Jacksonville's government.
Deegan becomes the first woman to be Jacksonville's mayor and only the second Democrat in three decades.
In addition to Deegan's historic win, after Tuesday's election, the Jacksonville City Council is 14-5 Republican.
Donna Deegan joins First Coast News to discuss her historic victory
"We made history tonight, it's a brand-new day for Jacksonville, Florida" said Deegan during her acceptance speech on Tuesday night. "You know what the best part is? Love won today."
Deegan, a Democrat, narrowly beat out Republican opponent Daniel Davis with roughly 8,000 votes. She said during her acceptance speech that Davis called to tell her congratulations on a hard fought race following the announcement she had won.
Davis outraised Deegan four-to-one, but he failed to win in Jacksonville, which has had a Republican mayor for all but four of the last 30 years.
"As much as I wanted to win this race for the people of Jacksonville, I wanted love to win," said Deegan. "I made a decision when I got into this race that no matter what happened, no matter what the landscape looked like, we were going to lead with love over fear, we would not go with division, we would go with unity..."
Deegan was spotted running around to different polling locations all day prior to the closing of polls, encouraging people to vote and make their voices heard.
She's used to being in the public eye as a former television news anchor and breast cancer awareness advocate. Every year, The Donna Foundation hosts a Mother's Day run to fundraise for the illness.
Deegan gave the following statement regarding her win:
“Love won tonight, and we made history. We have a new day in Jacksonville because people chose unity over division—creating a broad coalition of people across the political spectrum that want a unified city. Together, we will bring change for good to Jacksonville by making good on the decades-long broken promises on infrastructure, building an economy that works for everyone and improving access to healthcare. We will break down the wall between City Hall and bring all the people in to create a city that works for everyone.”