Arlington voters selecting a brand new Jacksonville Metropolis Council member will select between a retired tv reporter who spent many years “in your aspect” and a Realtor making an attempt to change into a political scorching property.
First Coast Information veteran Ken Amaro has a robust fundraising benefit over rival Alton McGriff in his bid to signify council District 1 within the first-ring suburban neighborhood the place Amaro has lived for about 45 years.
The Republican additionally has help from politically energetic teams together with police and firefighter unions, the JAX Chamber’s political arm, the Northeast Florida Affiliation of Realtors and the Northeast Florida Builders Affiliation.
However McGriff, a Democrat, is providing himself in its place, billing himself as a candidate “dedicated to preserving the distinctive character of Arlington, which all of us love dearly.
“As a group, we can’t afford to let builders are available and alter what we worth most,” McGriff, 42, wrote in a quick e mail about his candidacy after declining to be interviewed.
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Amaro, 70, mentioned he’d wish to see “a rise in group satisfaction” in his neighborhood, which has had pockets of decay in addition to funding and new development in different areas.
“I consider on this group,” Amaro mentioned. “I’ve seen the way it has transitioned, if you’ll, over the past 4 many years. I’m simply hoping to convey some management that may type of flip issues round.”
The district has been represented since 2015 by Democrat Joyce Morgan, one other former TV newscaster who’s leaving workplace due to time period limits. Democrats considerably outnumber Republicans within the district however solely signify about 43 % of the voters, that means help throughout occasion strains issues.
Amaro mentioned he’s much more thinking about nuts-and-bolts topics like getting potholes repaired and rubbish collected on schedule than political ideologies that may match higher at larger ranges of presidency.
He mentioned he needs to be a voice for strange individuals like those he used to interview because the longtime client reporter at First Coast Information, the place he retired in 2021 after 42 years. Borrowing a slogan from his TV profession, his marketing campaign web site pledges to voters he’ll be “in your aspect.”
He admitted he doesn’t know particulars from the town’s companies to the neighborhood, just like the gasoline tax income going out and in of challenge funds, however says there’s time to study and be prepared.
“I’m not there but,” he mentioned.
Like Amaro, McGriff’s marketing campaign materials touches on weights topics like public security and infrastructure, however he could must rely upon in-person appearances to elucidate his plans.
McGriff scheduled time to speak with a reporter however later canceled, saying he was brief on time resulting from campaigning. The interview “should wait ‘til after the election,” he mentioned by e mail.
Amaro’s campaigning has been pretty easy, the candidate knocking on doorways at occasions along with his daughter, generally with an outdated pal from TV, one other time with Nick Howland, a council member who didn’t face opposition in his personal reelection and determined to assist out.
As Amaro tells it, the motivations are easy too.
“I really feel the urge to public service,” he mentioned “ … I’m simply making an attempt to provide again whereas I can.”