2019 Jacksonville Florida Mayoral Race

We are holding a debate for the Jacksonville Florida mayoral race in 2019. We are currently reaching out to the candidates and inviting them to answer questions for the voters. The following questions have been submitted to the candidates:

  • What can be done to reduce the crime rate?
  • What can be done to create better jobs?
  • What can be done to improve the availability of quality food?
  • Other than the issues already covered, what do you consider to be the most important issue facing Jacksonville?

Jimmy Hill (Republican)
Participation Confirmed

"I have a background in public safety with 30 years of experience working in this field - no one in this race is more qualified to efficiently and effectively protect Jacksonville."

Hill was hired by the Atlantic Beach Fire Department starting almost to the day on his 20th birthday. He climbed the ranks to lieutenant by the age of 25 and over the career became a state certified fire inspector, fire officer 1, hazmat, including fire service instructor. Hill, along with a business partner, began the Southeast US Boat Show at Metropolitan Park and eventually adding the Oyster Jam Music Fest, events that were the economic engine for the marine industry creating millions and millions of dollars in sales and bringing tens of thousands of visitors downtown every spring. Later Hill won a commission seat in the city within Duval County consolidated - the city of Atlantic Beach. He served for four years and is pleased with the accomplishments while serving.

Although Hill has had many experiences and accomplishments over the years, his wife Della and their two sons Skyler and Tyden bring the greatest fulfillment. Hill looks forward to the next chapter of his life in serving the great city of Jacksonville.

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Yolanda K. Thorton (Democrat)
Participation Confirmed

Yolanda is a Jacksonville native and veteran spouse, who grew up on the north side of Jacksonville and graduated from Paxon SAS. Her degrees focus on design and social science and she is ready to research, conceptualize, implement, and iterate solutions to the problems of our city.

Yolanda is running for Mayor now because Jacksonville deserves a mayor who can advocate for the needs of everyone as a part of the big picture. She is ready to bring her new voice and new vision to Jacksonville.

Connell A. Crooms (NOP)
Participation Confirmed

Born into a military family, Connell Crooms spent most of his childhood moving from cities like Key West, Orlando, New York, Orangeburg, he and his family ultimately settled into his father's birth city and hometown of Jacksonville, FL where he has remained since 1997. Connell Crooms was found with a profound hearing loss at the age of five that almost went completely unnoticed having taught himself to lipread. Turning his deafness into an uncanny advantage and motivator to success-Crooms went on to attend Florida School for the Deaf and Blind where he graduated with full honors and a scholarship to Gallaudet University studying Philosophy-Law.

Connell would eventually make his return to Jacksonville as a co-founder of the internationally successful Deafinitely Dope and President of Jax Deaf Professional Happy Hour. In 2011 Connell Crooms joined the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition and their campaign to oust former State Attorney Angela Corey. Between 2011-2018 Connell Crooms has been involved and led many struggles including shop floor struggles against discrimination at UPS towards deaf employees. Crooms also supported and campaigned in the historical election campaign for Teamsters United's Fred Zuckerman that saw 2 new Southern Region VP's and 6 Central States VP's elected to the General Executive Board. That election also saw Fred Zuckerman Local 89 President in Louisville, KY win in North America but coming 5,000 votes short in Canada for the International seat. All this time Connell Crooms also managed his duties as a community organizer leading Jacksonville's Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality and systemic racism. Crooms' work has been memorialized in a mural alongside Palestinian liberation activist Sara Mahmoud on silos downtown that overlooks Hart Bridge.

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