Events leading up to Tuesday’s Jacksonville elections made for a controversial local election cycle, but didn’t seem to lead to much political fallout for either mayoral candidate Mike Hogan or incumbent Sheriff John Rutherford.
Former Duval County tax collector Mike Hogan came under fire for joking about bombing an abortion clinic during a February candidate forum. The comments didn’t faze Jacksonville voters, who awarded Hogan 34 percent of the vote for mayor. He will face Democrat Alvin Brown in a May 17 runoff.
Sheriff John Rutherford, meanwhile, was reelected in a landslide, despite refusing to comment on his endorsement of the abstinence-advocacy group Project SOS. The group’s founder, Pam Mullarkey, has ties to a Ugandan Pastor who supports the death penalty for homosexuals, and the group itself has been accused of disseminating false information regarding HIV/AIDS.
Less than 30 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in Tuesday night’s elections.