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Mayor Deegan's choice for Jacksonville general counsel withdraws

Randy DeFoor withdrew her name from consideration in a letter penned Wednesday. The city council was not expected to confirm her nomination.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan's pick for the city's next general counsel has withdrawn her name from consideration, the City of Jacksonville announced in a press release Wednesday. The vote to confirm Deegan's nomination, Randy DeFoor, was set for Sept. 26.

DeFoor's nomination faced opposition from at least seven city council members; 13 votes would have been required to elect her. With City Councilman Rory Diamond out of the country, only 11 possible votes DeFoor were left over -- not enough to reach that threshold.

A letter from  DeFoor sent to the Mayor's Office thanked Deegan for the nomination, but said "in the best interest of [Deegan and the city], I withdraw my request for consent to the nomination."

DeFoor went on to write: "My support for this mayor, and my belief that we must as a city unite in support of her is undiminished; we must rise above politics to create a better environment for all of us."

Deegan said the general counsel position must be filled by someone who has DeFoor's "vast experience, commitment to service, and belief that unity is our only path forward." She says the search for a nominee will "continue to moving ahead with those qualities in mind." 

City Councilman Matt Carlucci said in the past, council members have deferred to the mayor to confirm the general council, The Florida Times-Union reported. 

"I don't blame her for wanting to put the drama behind her," Carlucci told the Times-Union. "My other reaction would be this is one of the most shameful days I can remember in the city's governmental history."

An acting general council will be announced soon, according to COJ. Their term will begin Oct. 1. 

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