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Nick Howland defeats Tracye Polson in Jacksonville City Council Special Election

Howland will fill the seat previously occupied by the late Tommy Hazouri.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Republican Nick Howland will fill the vacant at-large seat on the Jacksonville City Council.

Howland defeated Democrat Tracye Polson in Tuesday's runoff election to fill the seat.

According to Duval County's election results, Howland finished the election with 68,599 votes (51.69%). Polson received 64,113 votes (48.31%).

According to county data, 132,712 people voted in Tuesday's runoff election, including early votes. Voter turnout for the election was just over 20%. The turnout for the general election in December was only 13%.

Political Science Professor Mike Binder said he was surprised by the high turnout for the election, considering it is a special election.

"Both candidates pulled out all the stops," Binder said. "Tracye Polson had a really active on the ground door-knocking campaign. And Nick Howland really pulled out all the stops: Endorsements from the governor, endorsements from Rick Scott. The Republican Party was active in mobilizing their voters, and it showed out."

With Howland's victory, Republicans hold a 14-5 margin over Democrats in the City Council. Republicans also hold all five at-large seats on the city council.

Howland said his first order of business once he is sworn in is to focus on the Jacksonville city budget. He said he looks forward to working with Sheriff Mike Williams to see what the needs of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office are.

"I think my election sends a message to the men and women of JSO that Jacksonville has their backs," Howland said. "I look forward to helping JSO figure out how to make safer neighborhoods and streets in our city, how to retain our police, how to hire more police."

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Polson said she will continue her work as a clinical social worker in the Jacksonville community.

"A special election is a herculean lift. There is no president on the ballot or governor," Polson said. "I carry Tommy Hazouri every step of the way. I will continue to do my best to help folks here in Duval. And I thank each and everyone of you for being apart of this process."

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Howland will fill the seat left vacant by Hazouri, who died in September 2021. Howland's term will expire in June 2023. He can receive a full four-year term if he chooses to run again for the seat and wins.

A special election was held in December. However, neither of the four candidates vying for the seat won the needed 50% majority to claim victory. In that election, Polson narrowly edged out Howland by just over 600 votes.


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