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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Jacksonville 2021 Special Unitary Election

Special Election for City Council At-Large Group 3 SeatElection DatesSpecial Unitary First Election: December 7, 2021 Special Unitary General Election: February 22, 2022Visit the Duval County Supervisor of Elections website for Vote-by-Mail and early voting dates.

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

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    Nick Howland

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    James C. "Coach" Jacobs

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    Tracye Polson

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    Howland Russell

Biographical Information

What motivated you to run for office?

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this office?

What do you see as the most pressing issues for the office and how do you propose to address them?

Is there a specific message you would like to send to voters prior to the election?

What is your plan to engage and communicate with constituents if elected, considering how large and diverse the county is and how constituent needs and issues differ?

Twitter Handle @nhowland15
Campaign Phone (904) 525-1761
My wife and I moved to Jacksonville 15 years ago and have raised our two boys here. We love this community. Jacksonville is now at a critical point in its history. Americans are moving south in droves and our population is rapidly approaching 1 million. I want to serve on City Council ensure that, amidst this growth, Jacksonville emerges as the top destination in the Southeast for families and business. That means safer streets, better infrastructure and more jobs. I also want to make our City the most military and veteran-friendly community in the nation by ensuring we have supportive resources for our heroes and their families.

In the longer term, my hope is that when my boys graduate college or look to raise a family, they do it here. Not Charlotte, Orlando, Miami or DC. But here, in Jacksonville.
I am a Navy veteran, business executive, husband, father, and now the Executive Director of a statewide effort to end veteran suicide. I know the concerns of veterans, of businesses and of young families. I’ve lived them. I’ve also served our great city several times – 8 years on Jacksonville’s Environmental Protection Board, 4 years on the First Coast Manufacturers Association board, and 1 year on the most recent Jacksonville Charter Revision Commission.

I have deep ties in the veteran and business communities in Northeast Florida and I know what it will take to lead our city over the next decade.
Public Safety, Jobs, Smart Growth.

Public Safety - a recent JSO study found that we are a few hundred officers short of the number necessary to provide safer communities across Jacksonville. This gap will widen as our population swells if we do not focus on it now.

Jobs - we are rapidly approaching 1 million people. We have had great success attracting financial firms downtown. We need to leverage that success and attract manufacturing and logistics businesses as well, with middle class jobs, to keep our economy strong.

Smart Growth – we have incredible natural resources in the river, ocean and available space for growth. We also have a strong geographical advantages at the north end of the state, at the intersection of 95 and 10. We need to work closely with developers to ensure that we grow smartly – improve downtown, repurpose dilapidated areas in other neighborhoods and improve neglected infrastructure in our northwest side.
Only 1 of the current 18 City Council members is a veteran. But 12% of our population are veterans and nearly 1 in 4 members of our community has direct family ties to the military.

Vote for me and put another veteran on Council in this special election.
I am engaging right now with meetings all over the county to learn the cares and concerns of all Duval voters. I will continue to do so on Council and I will serve all Duval voters if elected.

Servant Leadership is at the heart of who I am.
As an educator/Coach I've watched over many years of the decline in autistic and special needs programs. Coach Jacobs feels we need more special needs and autistic schools program and services for those children and families year round . Sadly this is an area that for some strange reason are being ignored.

Coach Jacobs is running to serve the people and to be a real advocate for change. Coach Jacobs is tired of electing individuals to office because they have money. Coach Jacobs is a person who is in touch with OUR common day person in Jacksonville FL. Coach Jacobs believes in REAL work for REAL People with REAL Problems! ONE CITY ONE TEAM.
Coach Jacobs having been serving in the Jacksonville communities for over 20 plus years in the trenches in many roles, With that being said Coach Jacobs has experienced and observed so much from a grassroots standpoint that he's able to understand better than someone who has not experienced our issues or problems in the trenches. It takes more than having money and titles to make you qualified! It takes personal involvement in our community consistently.
Coach Jacobs feels the lack of Economic development for our entire city and most importantly the inner city area's. The lack of funding for special needs schools services and programs year round. Coach Jacobs would work closely in a bipartisan manner with all other council person's to bring discussions and ultimately getting legislation passed to improved these problems for everyone's quality of life.
Coach Jacobs feels strongly that WE have to STOP electing the same people to office who are there to just run and win office! But are not there to serve the people. Do the research you will see some candidates move to Jacksonville just to run for office! when they lose they move to another zip code and run for another seat until they win. Our city deserves better we need REAL advocacy and REAL leadership. Coach Jacobs believes in REAL work for REAL People with REAL Problems.
Coach Jacobs plan is to walk and drive our city each day to educate and engage and communicate but most importantly listen to the people about the community issues and problems. Coach Jacobs believes that volunteering while serving in office is key to better understanding our city issues and problems. One City One Team.
Like thousands of people all across Jacksonville, I was deeply saddened when I heard that Tommy Hazouri was being discharged from the hospital to Hospice. I had planned to run for this seat in 2023 when he was ending his term in office and would have asked for his endorsement and support but I did not have that chance.

As a girl, I wanted to be a psychologist because I saw in my own family and those around me the impact of generational trauma, abuse, and neglect. As a licensed mental health practitioner I have spent more than 20 years working with individuals and families to heal from past experiences that have kept them stuck in destructive and painful patterns. Public policies have influenced many of the issues I have seen in my work as well as in my volunteer role. As an elected City Council member, I can impact more lives by implementing policies that make a tangible impact. I have big shoes to fill in running for Tommy’s seat, but I am determined to continue his legacy.
I’m uniquely qualified for this office because I already listen to and help people every day in my psychotherapy and counseling practice. I hear my patients’ talk about their struggles and together, we find actionable solutions to improve their lives, much like what our City Councilmembers should be doing. I’m not in this for my own personal benefit. I’m running because I want to help Jacksonville families.
We have to figure out our waste collection. A major US City should not be relying on the good deeds of its taxpayers who are picking up our litter or paying for their own recycling. That’s a basic service that we need to fix as soon as possible.

On a larger scale, we need transparency and accountability in our city council. It’s clear — from the attempt to sell JEA, the subsidizing of hotels to billionaires, and the failure to provide essential services like waste collection — that backdoor deals have eroded the public trust in city government. It won’t be rebuilt in a day, but it can be attained with more safeguards, oversight, and simply communicating with our neighbors. As Councilmember, I will check in regularly with constituents in Town Halls and regular meetings, and I will always use my voice to advocate for Jacksonville’s best interest.
I want voters to know that they can trust me — to listen to them, to fight for them, and to do the right thing for our city. I can promise you one thing — I will never be bought.
My plan is to continue the relationship building I’ve done around the community long before I ran in 2018. That includes showing up for all of our diverse neighborhoods to listen, learn, and connect with our residents. Right now, we’re hosting several Town Halls and community Meet-and-Greets to meet voters all over Duval County. I plan to do the same when I’m in office.
Twitter Handle @Howdyhowdyr
Campaign Phone (904) 233-5245
Jacksonville resident, business owner, employee, non profit participant, father, husband, friend, and servant since 1989. I watch what is happening in Jacksonville and the lack of servant representative leaders in our city.

I know the insides of this city and I am a proven servant with no personal advancement agenda.
I owe no one anything politically except the constituency of Jacksonville.
City politicians that believe our government exists for their personal gain. Jacksonville is the Gateway to Florida. The advantages available to us should not be hoarded by a few selected officials.

I grew up in Texas with a name Howdy. I have a tough skin, a friendly demeanor, and I am known for taking action.
You deserve a City Council that works directly for you.
I am very comfortable in all sections of Jacksonville and Duval County. I have worked, served, played, and lived all over this city. Customers, employees, employers, friends, and even opponents would describe me as an energetic and tireless contributor.

I am equally comfortable washing dishes in the restaurant, parking cars for the Auto Valet, negotiating reconstruction contracts with large businesses, and dealing with nationally recognized leaders.