Democrat wins key election in Florida

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After Republican Governor Ron DeSantis won reelection in Florida in November, the national media largely wrote off the state as a lost cause for the Democratic Party. But balances of power have a way of shifting, and sure enough, the Democrats picked up a key win tonight in a competitive Florida election.

Jacksonville is a pretty large city in Florida, with a population of about a million people. It’s also a city that’s had Republican mayors for 26 out of the past 30 years. But tonight Jacksonville has elected Democratic Party candidate Donna Deegan as its new mayor. The race has been called by Decision Desk and a number of local Florida news outlets.

This was a close race. Deegan is ahead by about four points with 90% of the votes counted, and her margin of victory will likely end up being about three to four points. The narrow margin underscores that this was indeed a “toss up” type of race, making it a good barometer of which way Florida is currently leaning.

Of course this doesn’t mean that Ron DeSantis is going to fall through a trap door tomorrow. But now that he’s no longer able to rely on media hype alone, and he’s had to put himself out there on the national stage in the hope of making it into the 2024 conversation, he’s instead come off very poorly. DeSantis has quickly become a national punchline, and that’s no doubt hurting him to a degree in Florida as well. His party’s inability to retain the mayor’s seat in one of the state’s biggest cities, after having dominated that seat for decades, is a blow to DeSantis.

But this isn’t just about DeSantis. Democratic Party activists and enthusiasts around the nation keep proving that they can mobilize and help make the difference in competitive races anywhere, anytime. For instance, Palmer Report asked all of you to chip in to the Democratic candidate’s campaign in the Jacksonville mayor race, and some of you responded that you did. That kind of thing helps – especially in a toss up election that ends up being decided by just a relative handful of votes. Now let’s go keep fighting and winning!

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