Headshots of Jacksonville City Council District 14 candidates (left to right) John Draper, Alberta Hipps and Rahman Johnson.
Jacksonville City Council District 14 candidates (left to right) John Draper, Alberta Hipps and Rahman Johnson. [Provided by the candidates]

Republican former City Councilman John Draper will face Democratic former Soil and Water Commission Supervisor in a May 16 runoff after none of the candidates earned a majority of the vote on Tuesday.

All three candidates were last elected in the 1990s, and they presented drastically different policy views in the race to represent Southwest Jacksonville.

The race was also a rematch for Draper and Councilwoman Alberta Hipps. Hipps beat then-Councilman Draper in 1995, and the two have feuded over developer interests and incentive programs ever since.

Draper, who may have been one of the most anti-developer council members in city history, has complained that traffic in Argyle has become untenable because the city has overlooked the problem’s urgency. Draper, 66, has had no problem making enemies in his fights, leading civic activist groups like the Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County.

“I have a history of fighting for my neighborhood,” he told the Tributary before Tuesday’s election. “The areas that I lived in, we fought hard to make sure we got what we needed. And I will take that same fight to the whole district.”

The 80-year-old Hipps, who shepherded through the Better Jacksonville Plan tax increase, served as a previous City Council president and was known for her ability to get along with her colleagues and for the surprisingly large number of unanimous votes the council took under her leadership.

“I really enjoy interacting with people and understanding their point of view,” she told the Tributary before the election. “I think I would be able to continue to help not only the residents in my community but in general.”

Johnson, the sole Democrat in the race, has emphasized the need to listen to the residents, fight for workers who live on the Westside and make roads safer while expanding public transportation options.

“The Westside is uniquely positioned as a great place for unique businesses to be,” Johnson told the Tributary before Tuesday’s election. “It would be great for people not to have to go to Mandarin or go to Southside or other parts of this city but to have jobs that pay living wages and unique industries right here in our community.”

A map of Jacksonville City Council District 14.
Jacksonville City Council District 14. [The Tributary]

Read More: Jacksonville City Council District 14: John Draper, Alberta Hipps, Rahman Johnson return to ’90s politics

Andrew Pantazi edits and reports for The Tributary. He previously worked as a reporter at The Florida Times-Union where he helped organize the newsroom's union with the NewsGuild-CWA. He and his wife,...