Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan Announces Darnell Smith as New Chief of Staff

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan Announces Darnell Smith as New Chief of Staff

Mayor Donna Deegan has chosen Darnell Smith to be her new Chief of Staff, replacing the recently departed Pat McCollough.

Darnell Smith, currently serving as the Florida Blue North Region Market President, will temporarily join the city as an “executive on loan” from the company. This means that Florida Blue will pay for his salary and benefits.

Smith will officially start his new role on January 2, 2024.

“I’m excited and grateful that Darnell is joining the Mayor’s Office to lead our talented team,” Deegan said. “He will build upon our administration’s early successes, and with decades of experience and a deep love of Jacksonville, I believe he will maximize this transformational moment in time for our city.”

“It’s an honor to answer the call to serve Mayor Deegan and people across Jacksonville,” Smith added. “I believe in her vision of an inclusive and thriving city that works for all of us — and the shared value that our community is stronger when it’s united. I’m looking forward to working with Mayor Deegan and the team to take big steps forward for our city.”

It’s not clear what McCollough will do next.

Mayor Deegan was elected in May, in a surprising win over the better-funded Daniel Davis, a Republican endorsed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. McCollough played a crucial role in Deegan’s campaign, helping her gather support from Democrats.

McCollough might work within City Hall eventually, or she could possibly help revive Deegan’s political activities outside, which have been quiet since her election.

Source: floridapolitics

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