Democrats Reggie Gaffney Jr. and Tameka Gaines Holly will face each other in a May 16 runoff for Jacksonville’s District 8 on the Northside after no candidate in the crowded race received enough of the vote to win a majority.
This is the first time voters got to judge the City Council’s newest councilmember: Reggie Gaffney Jr., who won a special election in August to replace his father, Reggie Gaffney Sr.
Two Democrats — architect Solomon Olopade and nonprofit chief operating officer Gaines Holly — were on the ballot against Gaffney Jr. along with Republican and electrician Charles “Scooter” Barr and Libertarian Ronald Tracy Robison Jr., who works at General Electric.
Gaffney Jr. currently represents District 7 but was redistricted into the new District 8.
The rapidly growing District 8 is located mostly north of the Trout River and includes Jacksonville International Airport and the new UF Health North hospital. It’s the second-fastest growing district in the city, after District 11 in Southeast Jacksonville.
Gaffney Jr. followed into Jacksonville city politics behind two of his uncles and his father, Gaffney Sr., who resigned from the city council last year to mount an unsuccessful state Senate bid.
His opponents raised concerns about Gaffney Jr.’s family political history and his job as assistant executive director at his father’s nonprofit, the Community Rehabilitation Center. The CRC, a behavioral health facility, received nearly $1 million in city funds during the coronavirus pandemic. The Tributary reported last year Gaffney Jr. had been previously registered to vote at the CRC even though he did not live there.