“My special interests are in the people I serve,” Ferraro throws hat into ring for Jacksonville Mayor’s Race
“People find it difficult to believe in their elected officials,” said Al Ferraro. “People want to see that their voice counts, they want to be heard more.”
JACKSONVILLE, Florida – With fundraisers ongoing and two officially submitted candidates, the Jacksonville Mayors’ Race is already well underway in 2023 and will likely consist of a crowded field.
Republican Al Ferraro, who represents District 2 of the city council, announced his campaign for the mayor on Saturday among a group of supporters from Jacksonville Clay Target Sports.
“People find it hard to believe in their elected officials. I think people want to see their voice count, they want to be heard more,” said Ferraro. “They actually want to see something good happen and they want to be able to trust their elected officials.”
Ferraro, whose district covers the northeast quadrant of Duval County and East Arlington, said his goal was to campaign honestly and “speak from the heart.”
“Probably the biggest thing people want to know, when you run for an office, do you change according to your choice, or are you exactly the same person?” he said. “Everyone has their groups to which they are responsible. Mine are the voters, the people I serve.”
Ferraro is a local businessman with 35 years of experience and runs the Ferraro Lawn Service on the south side. The 58-year-old has been on the council since 2015.
Reducing crime in Jacksonville is a number one priority, Ferraro said, acknowledging the various levels linked to the problem, from addiction to enforcement to the Code of Silence.
“As the mayor of this city, I would go for a walk with JSO, I would go for a walk with MADD Dads, I would go for a walk with any organization trying to change the landscape of this crime,” Ferraro said. “We have to have the citizens to help us, but to have that you have to trust, and to have that you have to be out there and take a walk in town.”
He said he has taken countless walks with organizations like MADD Dads in high crime areas and worked with the families of victims of violent crime in the city.
Other topics Ferraro spoke to First Coast News about were improving infrastructure, reducing homelessness to create a livelier downtown Jacksonville, and empowering small businesses.
Ferraro suggested hiring more staff to maintain and improve infrastructure in the areas where they live.
“We have roads and drains in our city in dire condition,” Ferraro said, adding that he believes the town council needs to better maintain funding for infrastructure projects for future councilors.
According to his announcement, Ferraro became the second Republican to run after councilor Matt Carlucci.
Carlucci, the chairman of the council’s finance committee, announced his offer in mid-January and, according to the candidates, has already raised well over $ 100,000.
“I feel like people are desperate for new leadership and in need of hope, and I hope to be that person to get them there,” Carlucci said at the time of his announcement.
Both Carlucci and Ferraro are likely to face a major challenge from Daniel Davis, president of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. A political action committee has already raised over $ 1 million for Davis’ expected offer, according to reports from the Florida Times-Union.