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Report: Jacksonville mayoral race is second most expensive Spring election in the nation

Candidates have spent more than $7 million with one week left until Election Day.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Becoming the mayor of Jacksonville is expensive these days - in fact, it's one of the most expensive races in the country, according to a recent report from Ad Impacts.

Ad Impacts, a company that tracks ad spending and performance, tweeted that Jacksonville's mayor race is the second most expensive in the country right now.

The company says roughly $7.3 million has been spent, only trailing the Supreme Court race in Wisconsin - a statewide race compared to Jacksonville's local race.

Ad Impacts reports more than twice as much has been spent in Jacksonville than on the Kentucky Governor primary, and candidates have spent seven times more than the mayor race in Denver.

For a former mayor, seeing the dollar signs tick up and up through the years is no surprise, and it's a trend he thinks will continue.

"We raised in 1995 about $1.2 million for my race," said Former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney. "My opponent, Former Mayor Jake Godbold raised about $1.8 million. Those were knee-knocking, record-breaking numbers at the time."

As Jacksonville continues to grow, and the world has watched the rise of the internet and social media, Delaney has watched as campaign spending has blown through the records he once was a part of.

He and Godbold raised about three million dollars between the two of them. Whereas, in this year's race, Daniel Davis's PAC alone has raised nearly $5 million since the start of 2021.

"It's a name recognition race, so they have to buy that if they're not coming from another office, where maybe people know who they are," said Delaney. "That's what makes it expensive. You're trying to buy an identity, push that out in front of the public."

One factor here is that Jacksonville has a strong mayor position - meaning it's more than just a seat on city council.

It comes with veto powers and budget proposal abilities.

Considering it's the 12th most populated city in the country, it makes it more influential than the vast majority of mayors across the country.

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