My name is Dr. Tony Cummings and I
am a native of Jacksonville who has called the First Coast my home for
over 40 years. I have a wonderful wife, Andrea, two (2) beautiful
daughters, Kyra and Eleana, and a sharp-eyed K-9 named Rusty. He’s a Chorkie. That’s a mix of Yorkie/Chihuahua. I know what you’re thinking,
but three years ago his breed was new to me too.
I grew up in a low-income single parent household with my sister, Denise, and two brothers, Morris and Derrick, on Jacksonville’s northwest side of town. I can remember my mother, the late Eleanor Cummings, working multiple jobs at a local nursing home and a janitorial service just to put food on the table for me and my siblings. Although my mother rarely had time to devote to traditional family activities such as family meals together at the dinner table, attending a movie on the weekends, or simply taking a drive to the mall, she did have the time to instill in us the importance of having love and respect for one another. She also stressed the importance of God and faith in our lives. These values helped us to stay away from all the drugs and gang activity that seemingly had a stranglehold on our entire neighborhood.
I can remember when my siblings and I use to play sandlot football in a 50 foot open square patch of dirt in the middle of the apartment complex. We pretended to be professional players from the, then, Jacksonville Firebirds and Jacksonville Bulls. Those were the professional sport franchises in the city at the time. Many of my friends had dreams of someday playing in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys or the Pittsburgh Steelers. Our beloved Jacksonville Jaguars were not around back in those days—sorry.
But I had an entirely different dream. It was my dream to become a member of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO).
Now, joining the JSO wasn’t exactly the career of choice amongst our peers back in those days. In fact, it was considered somewhat taboo to speak of helping the police, let alone becoming one. But I knew in my heart that joining the JSO was the only way to rid my neighborhood of the drugs and gang violence that I so detested. Plus, I knew it was the right thing to do and that it would make my mother proud.
In 1995, after returning home from military service, I became a proud member of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. My dream had finally been realized. But I knew the hard work of cleaning up the neighborhood was yet to come.
Since joining the JSO, I have arrested numerous gang members, drug dealers and prostitutes on the streets of Jacksonville. I’ve even gone undercover to help rid our streets of these bad actors. The sense of pride that comes in knowing that I am trying to make a difference in the community, no matter how small, is truly rewarding. I sometimes find myself comparing the experience with the time I spent in the United States Army, serving my country as a proud, young soldier. There is no other feeling in the world quite like it.
On March 24, 2015, with your help, I would like to continue serving you as your next elected sheriff. I intend to step up the fight to take back Jacksonville’s streets in a new era and from a new vantage point as sheriff. The fight will be difficult, especially with the persistent gun violence that has plagued our city for the past decade, but this battle can be won. I am asking you to stand with me, today, and make a difference before it’s too late. The future of Jacksonville’s depends on your commitment to stemming the tide of violent crime in our city. I am ready for the battle. Are you?
If you said yes, then partner up with me and help spread the word: Elect Tony Cummings as Sheriff of Duval County.
Together, we can do this.
Tony Cummings, Ed.D.
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Political advertisement paid for by Tony Cummings, Democrat for Office of the Sheriff.