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Alvin Brown

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Alvin Brown (born December 15, 1961) is an American politician from Florida. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as Mayor of Jacksonville, Florida from 2011 to 2015. He was the first African American to be elected to that position.

Alvin Brown
Mayor Alvin Brown.jpg
Mayor of Jacksonville
In office
July 1, 2011 – July 1, 2015
Preceded byJohn Peyton
Succeeded byLenny Curry
Personal details
Born (1961-12-15) December 15, 1961 (age 57)
Beaufort, South Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Santhea Brown
EducationEdward Waters College
Jacksonville University (BA, MBA)

Brown succeeded John Peyton as mayor after winning the 2011 mayoral election.[1][2] In the 2015 race, he lost his re-election bid to Republican Lenny Curry.[3]

Life and careerEdit

Brown was born in Beaufort, South Carolina.[4] He moved to Jacksonville in 1981 and attended Edward Waters College and Jacksonville University, where he earned his bachelor's and Master of Business Administration degrees.

Brown was an intern for Senator Bill Nelson while Nelson was a member of the United States House of Representatives. He worked on the staff of the Clinton-Gore transition team in 1992 and 1993, and then began work in the Clinton administration as a member of Ron Brown's staff at the United States Department of Commerce.

During the 1990s he served as an advisor to Andrew Cuomo, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and to President Bill Clinton, and Vice President Al Gore.[5] In the Clinton administration his experience included: Deputy Administrator for Community Development, Rural Business and Cooperative Development Services at the United States Department of Agriculture; Executive Director of the Office of Special Actions at the Department of Housing and Urban Development; Executive Director of the White House Community Empowerment Board; Co-Chair of the White House Task Force on Livable Communities; and Senior Advisor for Urban Policy and Vice Chair of the White House Community Empowerment Board.

After serving in the Clinton administration, Brown's professional activities included: Executive in Residence at Jacksonville University’s Davis School of Business; President and CEO of the Willie Gary Classic Foundation, a scholarship organization focused on historically black colleges; Executive Director of the Bush/Clinton Katrina Interfaith Fund, which oversaw distribution of more than $20 million in rebuilding funds to houses of worship throughout the Gulf Coast area; and Chairman of the Board of the National Black MBA Association.

While living in Washington, Brown met his wife Santhea. They have two sons, Joshua and Jordan.[6]

Brown entered the race for Mayor of Jacksonville in 2011. The incumbent Republican, John Peyton, was barred from a third term. Widely considered an underdog in the March primary election,[7] Brown came in second in the six-person race to face the frontrunner, Republican Mike Hogan, in the runoff election. On May 17, Brown narrowly defeated Hogan by 1,648 votes in what was called the closest mayoral election in Jacksonville history.[8][9] Brown became the first African American ever elected Mayor of Jacksonville, as well as the first Democrat elected since Ed Austin in 1991.[2] The win was considered a major upset in light of the momentum gained by the Republican Party and the conservative Tea Party movement in the 2010 elections, and a significant victory for the Florida Democratic Party.[10] Brown was sworn in as mayor on July 1, 2011.[2]

Brown lost his 2015 re-election bid to Republican Lenny Curry.[3]


  1. ^ Rincon, Kevin (July 1, 2011). "Alvin Brown takes over as Mayor of Jacksonville". Retrieved on July 1, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Gibbons, Timothy J. (May 18, 2011). "Alvin Brown makes history, becoming city's first African-American mayor". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved on May 18, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Monroe, Nate; Bauerlein, David (May 19, 2015). "Lenny Curry takes City Hall, defeats Mayor Alvin Brown". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  4. ^ Peterson, Kyle (June 6, 2011). "Florida mayor-elect's roots grew deep in Lowcountry soil". The Island Packet. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  5. ^ Gibbons, Timothy J. (May 10, 2011). "Alvin Brown's Washington experience extensive, somewhat elusive". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved on May 20, 2011.
  6. ^ Gibbons, Timothy J. (May 5, 2011). "Wives on the Jacksonville mayoral campaign trail: Santhea Brown". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved on May 20, 2011.
  7. ^ "Alvin Brown a player in mayor's race, if not a favorite to win". The Florida Times Union (January 9, 2011). Retrieved on May 18, 2011.
  8. ^ "Closest Mayor's Race In History Archived 2011-05-21 at the Wayback Machine". (May 17, 2011). Retrieved on May 18, 2011.
  9. ^ Gibbons, Timothy J. (May 19, 2011). "Jacksonville Mayor-elect Alvin Brown celebrates, begins transition with Peyton". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved on May 20, 2011.
  10. ^ Smith, Adam C. (May 20, 2011). "In Jacksonville mayoral loss, lessons for Florida GOP" Archived 2011-05-23 at the Wayback Machine. St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved May 23, 2011.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
John Peyton
Mayor of Jacksonville
Succeeded by
Lenny Curry