27-year-old ousts City Commission incumbent, flips majority-minority status

Posted at 6:26 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 18:26:07-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Jack Porter unseated incumbent Elaine Bryant in the primary, changing the landscape of the Tallahassee City Commission.

Tallahassee no longer has a majority-minority commission.

Political scientist Dr. Ed Moore says Jack Porter is part of a new wave of politicians.

"I'm still in shock," said Porter. "It's still sinking in a little bit. I'm feeling good. Very, very humble, and grateful."

At only 27-years-old, Jacqueline "Jack" Porter is one of the youngest women to be elected to the Tallahassee city commission.

"Young people, particularly young women, are getting engaged and they know how to work hard," Moore said.

After 11 months of campaigning, Porter beat incumbent Elaine Bryant by more than 5,000 votes.

"I was disappointed," said Porter of her decision to run for office. "I saw a lot of missed opportunities for the city at the leadership level. What I was hearing on the grounds was people wanted change. They wanted something different. They wanted responsive government."

Elaine Bryant was appointed to the position in December of 2018 after Scott Maddox pleaded guilty to federal charges including racketeering and wire fraud.

Moore says Porter's campaign promise to bring change appealed to all voters.

"The winner in that race got support all the way across the political spectrum," said Moore. "There were conservative people I knew who supported her. People in the middle of the road."

In a statement posted on social media, Elaine Bryant thanked her supporters, saying in part, "The fight does not stop here. Let's keep pushing for progressive, proactive action in the community so we can continue to see positive, long-lasting change for generations to come."

Porter is preparing for the seat-switch in the coming months.

"I'm excited to get to work to fight for you and listen to you," Porter said. "Just as I was on the campaign, I plan to be as available and accessible as a commissioner."

There's one more Tallahassee commission seat to vote on. Incumbent Curtis Richardson will face Bill Schack in a runoff during the general election on Nov. 3.