By Ywana Allen
Charlie Cofer and Reggie Fullwood, two of the candidates who participated in our general membership meeting earlier this month, are winners in the August 30th primary election.
Retired Judge Charlie Cofer earned 118,219 votes, defeating incumbent Matt Shirk who earned 35,353 votes to now serve as Public Defender for the 4th Judicial Circuit. In November, no Democrat or other candidate will appear on the general election ballot, but a write-in candidate kept the primary closed to Republican voters. During the meeting, Mr. Cofer shared his experience in handling cases involving many of our city’s homeless residents and emphasized the importance of stakeholder collaboration and building relationships as essential for ending homelessness. He also explained how working closely with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is important and that working downtown for many years has enabled him to see the face of homelessness.
Incumbent Reggie Fullwood earned 45% of the Democratic vote, a total of 6,469, and will now face Republican candidate Pastor Mark Griffin in November. Mr. Fullwood shared that his commitment to ending homelessness stems in part from his own experience of poverty as a child, which he believes, better equips him to understand the issues related to homelessness. He also explained why he has been an advocate for legislation, leading the charge for several bills in Tallahassee, and stressed the importance of an acceptable living wage and mental health services. He emphasized that in order to resolve funding issues, actions must be agency-driven to ensure there is one voice and that policy must be pushed so that programs are expanded to include the most vulnerable populations.
To learn more about all of the primary winners, visit http://www.duvalelections.com/.