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One of the biggest gatherings of political players in the city is the annual holiday party held by former Mayor Jake Godbold.

Eye on Jacksonville was there for the 2019 version this week.

Just a few of the people sighted:

Godbold, of course — this year, sadly, in a wheelchair because of his chronic neck and back problems. Nearby, as always, was Godbold’s alter ego, Marty Barrett.

City Council members past and present Eric Smith, Greg Anderson, Henry Cook, Terry Wood, Albert Hipps, Matt Carlucci, Warren Jones and others we missed. Former Florida Secretary of State Bruce Smathers, former City Council auditors Richard Wallace and Bob Johnson. Former JEA board member Mike Hightower. Former Jacksonville University and NBA basketball star Artis Gilmore. (I reminded him that I wrote a story about him for Newsweek magazine almost 50 years ago.)

As visitors signed in, they were asked to “vote” yes or no on the sale of JEA. Godbold has been a vocal opponent. The results, unsurprisingly, were overwhelmingly against the sale.

Godbold was mayor from 1979-1987. Before that he served on the City Council. His biography was published this year and he is enjoying the role of elder statesman. The Democrat regularly is called upon by the local media to criticize incumbent Republicans.

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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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