Statement From Lakesha Burton about Mat Nemeth’s Withdrawal from Race

This was expected, and it’s exactly why we need change at JSO.

The establishment that has run the Sheriff’s Office for decades and failed to bring Jacksonville’s high crime under control has been scheming to rig this election so they can hold onto power. This is why I am running. It’s time to end the “hand me down politics” at JSO.

There are those trying to rig an election that belongs to voters of Duval County. I want those good old boys to know I’m not afraid. I’m not concerned. This is exactly why I am running for sheriff.  We have to get the politics out of law enforcement and put our neighborhoods and communities back into public safety.

–  Lakesha Burton, Candidate for Jacksonville Sheriff

Burton Discusses Priorities on Bobbie G’s Breakroom Podcast

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Candidate Lakesha Burton talked about her priorities as the city’s next sheriff during an interview April 16 with host Bobbie G for his Breakroom podcast.

“I’m proud to say that under my leadership as a zone commander in the Arlington and Beaches area we delivered a record-breaking 16 percent crime reduction in our zone,” Burton told the host. “That’s never happened before. I’m talking about violent and property crime… These were significant reductions and I believe we can replicate what we did in Zone 2 citywide.”

See the entire interview online here…

Burton Leads All Candidates in New UNF Poll

From the Florida Times-Union article on Feb. 17, 2022:  In the sheriff’s race, Burton has the edge over two Republicans: T.K. Waters at 27% and Matthew Nemeth at 15%. Trailing the pack were Democratic candidates Tony Cummings at 4% and Wayne Clark at 2%.

UNF Pollster Dr. Michael Binder said the race for sheriff “is a little bit closer” than the current spread for mayor “but folks are clearly excited about Lakesha Burton, the first Black woman to run for Jacksonville sheriff.”

We’ve got a long way to go, but it’s always nice to hear that people are excited about Lakesha Burton and her campaign.

Burton’s JSO Zone 2 Scores Record-Setting Crime Reduction in 2021


Burton: Collaboration Key in Crime Reduction Efforts

Hard work, effective community policing strategies and strong collaboration among important stakeholders are helping build the trust necessary to effect recent reductions in Jacksonville’s crime rates, said Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Lakesha Burton, commander of JSO’s Zone 2 and a candidate for sheriff in the 2023 race.

“Congratulations to all the men and women of Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for their work in helping affect significant crime reduction across the city last year,” Burton said. “While we certainly have far to go, the reductions we saw in 2021, and the efforts behind that, should be recognized and lauded. This type of progress doesn’t happen without hard work and cooperation among JSO’s leaders, investigators, patrol officers, community stakeholders, city officials, our State Attorney’s Office, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, as well as business and school leaders. All these important contributors deserve credit today.

“I’m especially proud that under my leadership as commander of JSO’s Zone 2 last year we saw a 16% reduction in overall crime – that’s more than double what was achieved in any other JSO zone and larger than any crime reduction ever recorded in Zone 2. In a region with several very high-crime neighborhoods, we used proven collaborative efforts to address violent crime and hard work to embrace the concept of community policing. I believe that in Zone 2 we’ve shown that when law enforcement professionals are intentional about creating positive interactions, strengthening partnerships, and working side-by-side with the community to solve issues at the grassroot level, we can reduce crime and build trust within the communities we serve. Let’s continue to move forward together and bridge the gaps that remain.”

Burton Campaign Continues Successful Fundraising Blitz

Bipartisan Support Passes $664,000 in Five Months

Jacksonville sheriff’s candidate Lakesha Burton’s campaign and a supporting political committee raised more than $114,000 in August, a traditionally tough month for campaign fundraising. The campaign and committee have raised more than $664,000 combined, including significant donations from Democrat, Independent and Republican community leaders.

“We’ve already surpassed and updated our initial campaign fundraising goals,” said Burton, an assistant chief at Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. “It’s been an incredible team effort led by volunteers and supported by hundreds of donors including some of our city’s most important community leaders – from both political parties.”

Burton’s political committee, Make Every Voice Count, raised $110,045 in August, bringing its total raised to $554,560. Her campaign has raised $103,414 to date.

Burton, a Democrat running to become Jacksonville’s first female sheriff, is garnering significant support from leading Duval GOP donors. Charles Cupp, Gary Chartrand, Wayne Weaver, David Miller, Fitzhugh Powell, John Baker and Michael Ward are among some of the prominent Republican donors who have made significant PAC contributions. In addition, leading Democrat and Independent donors such as Darnell Smith, Jeff Chartrand, Audrey Moran, Jim and Ellen Wiss, Bobby Stein, Pam Paul and Delores Weaver are among major contributors. Smaller donations of less than $100 have been made by hundreds of supporters from all areas of the city.

For more information about Burton and her campaign, please visit


Political advertisement paid for and approved by Lakesha Burton, Democrat, for Jacksonville Sheriff

Historic Campaign Starts Strong

Florida Politics (June 10, 2021) — Duval County has seen Democrats underperform, failing to win countywide offices despite a registration advantage.

However, 2023 could potentially usher a sea change in the Sheriff’s Office, held for many years by Republicans.

Sheriff Mike Williams is termed out after eight years, and the sole filed candidate, Democrat Lakesha Burton, is trumpeting strong fundraising: nearly half a million dollars in the first two months as a filed candidate.

Burton would be the first Black woman to serve as Sheriff if elected.

“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the outpouring of support our campaign has received since we launched in early April,” said Burton. “Without a single fundraising letter or event, we’ve seen so many good people step up — with donations large and small — to say they want to support our vision for moving Jacksonville Forward Together!”

Most of the action has been on the committee level, with $435,000 through two months. Additionally, Burton has raised just over $36,000 in hard money in the same period. A media release alludes to “strong early June fundraising” as well for the assistant chief, including deep pocketed types ranging from former CSX exec Michael Ward to Gary Chartrandand Wayne Weaver. In short, GOP donors are on board.

“The strength and diversity of our campaign’s early fundraising efforts reinforce what I said when we began,” Burton said. “Our campaign is not about power, prestige or party. It’s about people; people interested in working together to help us make Jacksonville a better, safer place to live, work and raise a family.”

Burton presents as a unifier, not a divider.

“I want to challenge the perception that it’s us against them,” Burton said in a statement emailed to The Tributary, which did a feature on her this month.

“I know most people want justice and public safety. The idea that we have to choose between these is a false choice. I will prove that as Jacksonville’s next Sheriff.”

At least one potential 2023 opponent is ruling out a run. Republican Mike Bruno, who would have been a Williams-style candidate, decided not to move forward.

The 2015 race was crowded and full of sharp edges and ugly opposition. So far, 2023 looks like a much smoother ride, at least in the early going.

Read the story online here.