Three-term Duval County Clerk of Court Jim Fuller isn’t ruling out another run for office, although he’s not sure which one or when.
“At this point in my life, I don’t know what I would run for, but I wouldn’t rule anything out,” Fuller, 62, said Tuesday morning from his office at the new Duval County Courthouse.
“I’ll never say never. Opportunities come up,” he said.
He won’t rule out another run later as clerk of court, either.
Fuller’s name was on the primary ballot and it’s the first election Fuller said he hasn’t won as a candidate. A 20-year elected official after a Navy career, he won two terms in the state House of Representatives, serving 1992-2000, and then was elected clerk of court.
“I’ve never lost an election,” he said. “I didn’t lose this one. I just couldn’t run.”
He had qualified for a fourth term until a judge ruled Friday that term limits apply to him and he couldn’t be re-elected.
“I was disappointed but I told everybody I would do what the judge said,” he said. “I have a different opinion, but things happen in life for a reason.”
Fuller said he was “perfectly fine with the outcome” of the ruling. “Somebody else will come in here and do a good job.”
Votes for Fuller in the primary didn’t count, although he said some supporters told him they would vote for him anyway.
That left former City Council member Ronnie Fussell as the Republican contender to face Democrat Brenda Priestly Jackson, a lawyer and former member of the Duval County School Board, in the Nov. 6 general election for the clerk’s office.
Fuller said Tuesday he will look closely at the two candidates, but probably will not endorse anyone.
The new clerk takes office in January. Until then, Fuller said he’ll maintain his focus on making sure the operations are running like clockwork for his successor.
“We’re going to continue to work and make sure it progresses on,” he said.
Fuller talks about achievements, especially converting the office from paper to electronic filing and also saving money. He said he returned $170,000 this year to the state from the savings.
His office at the courthouse, which opened June 18, displays family photos and other items. Framed artwork leans against the walls, some of it still with moving stickers, waiting to be hung.
“I didn’t put any of these pictures up and I’m not going to put them up now,” he said.
Fuller said he’s had some opportunities already. “I’ve had a lot of people call and say, ‘we’d like you to help our company,’” he said.
He didn’t identify the companies, but said inquiries have come from transportation interests, from attorneys who want to venture into other areas and from two people asking him about lobbying.
Perhaps there is another state job in the future, too.
Fuller said he makes $148,000 a year as clerk.
He said another option is to complete his master’s degree and teach. He joined the Navy after high school and earned a degree in aviation management from Troy University.
He also had taken several courses in a University of North Florida master’s program, but found night classes weren’t convenient with a young family. His goal with the master’s studies was to teach after he retired.
“That’s another thing in the back of my mind, whether to go back and get it or not,” he said of the master’s degree.
“I thought I could teach people about government and how it works.”
His life ran counter to his father’s advice. “My dad said don’t go into the military and don’t get mixed up in politics,” he said.
One of the art pieces leaning against his office wall is a framed newspaper feature about the Fuller founders of Altamonte Springs, Fuller’s hometown area.
Fuller is married and has two married daughters and six grandsons ages 8 and younger. The oldest grandchildren are identical twins. The entire crew lives in the same Southside neighborhood, so there’s babysitting and sporting events taking place.
Fuller said he and his wife, Barbara, also like to hike. He’s a long-time Harley fan, so Barbara rides with him. They also have a 63-acre farm an hour north in Woodbine, Ga.
Fuller believes that term-limiting constitutional officers forces the loss of valuable “corporate knowledge” in those offices.
“I think you’ll see a change down the road where you don’t term-limit constitutional officers,” he said.
Fuller had intended to watch election results Tuesday night with supporters at The Jacksonville Landing. Instead, he now plans to host a barbecue for them there later this month.
He’s also offering about 300 campaign signs for other uses. A school intends to apply chalkboard paint to some and put them on the playground. His wife will do the same with others for use by the grandchildren.
“We were gearing up for the general election, but we won’t have to worry about it,” he said.
Fuller casually mentioned the governor’s office in the “you never know” category.
“Life is strange,” he said. “Things come along. I think there’s something better out there for me.”
Facilities protest today
A special Professional Services Evaluation Committee meeting is scheduled at 2 p.m. today in conference room 851 in the Ed Ball Building. It’s a meeting with two titles and actions, the first being the protest by SMG over the ranking of Global Spectrum ahead of SMG for the City’s facilities management contract.
In July, a subcommittee consisting of City Chief Financial Officer Ronnie Belton and recently promoted City Chief Administrative Officer Karen Bowling recommended Global Spectrum over SMG, which has held the facilities management contract since the start.
The second action item on the agenda is a motion to recommend the list – Global Spectrum followed by SMG – be forwarded to Mayor Alvin Brown for final selection “so that fee and contract negotiations may begin with Global Spectrum, the number one ranked firm.”
Verlander speaking to NAIOP, ULI
City Sports and Entertainment Executive Director Alan Verlander, named by Brown to be the City’s point person with the Jacksonville Jaguars, is scheduled to speak to the joint “NAIOP/ULI Sports & Entertainment Luncheon” Sept. 19 at the Arena.
It’s interesting timing. His bio with the event announcement says he oversees City sports operations, special events, the film and TV office and also the oversight of the City sports facilities — including the management contract.
The lunch event will include a panel of local experts to talk about the role of sports and entertainment in economic development. Information: www.naiopnefl.com.
Mayor, superintendent head to schools
Speaking again of the mayor, Brown intends to join Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals and school board members in visiting public schools Monday to launch the new academic year.
Starbucks to Target; another 7-Eleven
The City is reviewing a permit for a $900,000 renovation to the Target store at 10490 San Jose Blvd. that, among other work, includes a Starbucks Coffee area within the store. … A 7-Eleven convenience store is planned at Kernan and Atlantic boulevards, near Academy Sports & Outdoors. It’s a $1.5 million project.
Mayo Primary Care project nears
The Mayo Primary Care center at Hampton Village is closer to development. Plans show construction of a $7.56 million, two-story, 40,427-square-foot primary care center on the site. Auld & White Constructors is the contractor.
Mayo Clinic announced in May that it would invest about $97 million in two Jacksonville construction projects.
One is an $80 million addition to Mayo’s San Pablo Road hospital and the other is the $16.7 million primary care center, which is at the Interstate 295 East Beltway and Gate Parkway.
Mayo said the care center should open in summer 2013 and will support 20 physicians and providers and offer X-ray, mammography, ultrasound and laboratory services. It will be Mayo’s third freestanding primary care center in Northeast Florida.
Sauer starts work on office complex
Sauer Inc. announced Tuesday that it started construction on an office complex for Cancer Specialists of North Florida. The $3.3 million, 18,000-square-foot project is being developed on 4.83 acres at 7015 A.C. Skinner Parkway. It’s scheduled for completion in May.
Prescott on tap at Downtown Council
Bill Prescott, Jacksonville Jaguars CFO, is scheduled to speak to the JAX Chamber Downtown Council at its breakfast meeting Friday at The University Club. Prescott is senior vice president of stadium operations as well as chief financial officer. For information about the meeting, which starts at 7:30 a.m., visit www.downtowncouncil.org.
Bjork joins Ash Properties
Erika Bjork has joined Ash Properties as a commercial leasing consultant. She has about 20 years of business development experience, having worked with the Colliers International and Cushman & Wakefield commercial real estate brokerage firms and the Ellis & Associates and Connelly & Wicker engineering companies.
Cole resigns City position
Retired Maj. James Cole Cartledge submitted his resignation as director of City Intra-Governmental Services, a position announced in November. The City reported he resigned effective Sept. 7 and will serve two weeks on an on-call basis and take two weeks of administrative leave. When his appointment was announced 10 months ago, the City said Cartledge reported to Chief of Staff Chris Hand and made $122,500 a year.