In a historic turn of events, former TV news anchor and founder of the DONNA Foundation, Donna Deegan has become the first woman ever and just the second Democrat in three decades to win a Jacksonville mayor's race. With an impressive fundraising campaign that raised $8.4 million by the end of April, Deegan managed to upset Republican business leader Ron DeSantis.
Deegan's rival candidate Lenny Curry took in $2.1 million within the same period. As a former City Council member and state representative who currently serves as CEO of the JAX Chamber of Commerce, Deegan has demonstrated her dedication to serving her community.
"Jacksonville is ready for new leadership," said Donna Deegan after her historic victory was announced on Tuesday night. "I am honored to be given this opportunity and will work tirelessly to make our city even greater."
Approximately 217,000 people voted in this crucial election with a turnout rate of 33%. Triumphing over her opponents with 52% vote share, she replaces Republican Lenny Curry who could not run again due to term limits.
Curry expressed his congratulations towards Deegan: "I wish Donna all the best as she takes on the role as mayor. It has been an honor serving my community and I'm confident that Jacksonville is in good hands."
As Florida's most populous city with about 950,000 residents, Jacksonville now stands out among its counterparts led by Democratic mayors – making it one less major city headed up by Republicans nationwide.
Donna Deegan's inspiring journey from being a journalist turned philanthropist with her non-profit organization supporting families affected by breast cancer shows how diverse experiences can contribute meaningfully at various levels when it comes down to public service commitment.
"I have spent my career listening to people and working hard for them," says Mayor-elect Deegan during one of her campaign events. "Now, I look forward to continuing this journey and leading Jacksonville into a brighter future."
With such an impressive track record in business, journalism, and philanthropy, Deegan's tenure as mayor is expected to bring about impactful changes for the city of Jacksonville.