JACKSONVILLE — Sheriff’s candidate Lakesha Burton holds a substantial lead over all other Democrat candidates, and is virtually tied with the lone Republican in the race going into the final week of the campaign, according to a new UNF Public Opinion Research Lab poll released today.

“With TK Waters and Lakesha Burton neck-in-neck in a crowded field, there’s a good chance this race will go to a runoff in November,” said Dr. Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and UNF professor of political science. “If that happens, it will add a very competitive local race to the midterm elections.”

Burton said the poll confirms what she’s been hearing from voters on the campaign trail.

“I’m encouraged by what the poll confirms: that Jacksonville is ready and hungry for change at JSO,” Burton said. “I’ve been knocking on doors and speaking with thousands of voters who appreciate my plans for a more comprehensive approach to law enforcement. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been attacked by those who say I’m too friendly with Republicans and by others who say I’m too friendly with Democrats. Those attacks, and this poll, tell me our campaign is on the right track. It’s not about power, prestige or party. It’s about the people who I will serve when I’m their sheriff.”