Republican Nick Howland flipped a Jacksonville, Florida, city council seat in a heavy Democrat district that swung for President Biden in 2020.
Duval County election results from Tuesday night showed that Howland defeated Democrat Trayce Polson with a sizeable majority of 68,599 votes versus her 64,113 votes – 51.69 percent versus 48.31 percent.
“With Howland’s victory, Republicans hold a 14-5 margin over Democrats in the City Council,” reported First Coast News.
The seat was left vacant in September 2021 due to the death of Tommy Hazouri. Though a special election was held in December of that year, none of the four candidates in the race was able to garner 50 percent of the vote required for victory. Howland’s victory over Polson on Tuesday night comes after he lost to her by a narrow margin of 600 votes.
“According to county data, 132,712 people voted in Tuesday’s runoff election, including early votes. Voter turnout for the election was just over 20%,” added First Coast News.
Thank you, Jacksonville! https://t.co/376Ks0DkCs
— Nick Howland (@NickHowland15) February 23, 2022
The Republican National Committee (RNC) celebrated the results, saying the victory points to even greater victories come the 2022 mid-term elections. “Good to see Florida Democrats aren’t waiting until November to start losing.”– RNC Spokeswoman Julia Friedland. She added:
All three of Florida’s unimpressive Democrat gubernatorial candidates campaigned for Democrat Tracye Polson as Val Demings offered a “ strong endorsement” from the sidelines. Polson’s loss in a county that went blue for Joe Biden in 2020 is a resounding rejection of Joe Biden’s failed agenda and the politicians who stand idly by it.
According to Jacksonville.com, President Biden not only won Duvall County in 2020 but was the first Democrat to score a victory there since former President Jimmy Carter in 1976. The outlet wrote in 2020:
Biden’s victory in Duval marks the first time a Democratic presidential candidate has won the county since Jimmy Carter in 1976, yet what would normally have been a jubilant victory for Democrats was muted when Miami-Dade County, which had voted for Hillary Clinton by a 30-point margin, shifted drastically to the right.
Howland’s victory comes as poll after poll shows that both President Biden and the Democrats have been slipping in popularity. As Breitbart News profiled recently, Republicans could take control of the U.S. House on Democrat retirements alone.
“House Republicans are scheduled to pick up at least ten House seats due to Democrat retirements alone, according to an analysis by left-leaning Punchbowl News,” said the report. “Republicans are only in the minority by five seats with 30 total Democrat retirements, the largest mass exodus in three decades.”