A bevy of political figures seen at an event this week

There probably was more political punch packed in one room this week than had been assembled in decades.

Eye on Jacksonville was on hand, to keep an Eye on the notables attending.

The occasion was the retirement of Mattox Hair, long-time politician.

Hair had been out of politics for a while but was retiring from his law practice. However, he invited people he had been associated with one way or the other for the past 60 years, more than 300 people in all.

His father was Horry Hair, a well-known legislator from Live Oak.

The younger Hair was born in Coral Gables, raised in Live Oak and went to Florida State University for his undergraduate degree and the University of Florida for law school.

He ran and was elected to the Florida House in 1972 and later to the Florida Senate from 1974 to 1988. Afterward, he made an unsuccessful run for a seat in Congress, losing to Tillie Fowler, a former member of the Jacksonville City Council, who also came from a family with deep political roots.

Hair then ran for circuit court and won.

After leaving the bench in 1992, he joined a law practice and specialized in mediation.

His retirement party in the River Club attracted many well-known members of the local bar along with leaders in business and civic affairs,

They included Major Harding, a former circuit judge and a retired member of the Florida Supreme Court, and Ander Crenshaw, long-time legislator and member of Congress, who had replaced Fowler after she left office.

Hank Coxe, local lawyer and former president of The Florida Bar was there, along with a number of current and former judges.

Several former legislators who served with Hair in the 1970s also attended, including Eric Smith, Steve Pajcic and Bruce Smathers.

Hair was a lifelong conservative Democrat considered to be steadfast and reliable in the legislature and honest and hard-working on the bench.

He harkens from a day before today’s polarized times when legislators worked together for their districts regardless of political party.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.


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