Former Jacksonville City Councilman and mayoral candidate Bill Bishop is considering a return to Jacksonville’s City Council in 2019, he told Florida Politics Monday.
Bishop, who served two terms, is thinking over a run to fill what would be the open At Large seat of John Crescimbeni (assuming that Council’s proposal to extend its consecutive terms served from 2 to 3 passes referendum and applies to current Council members in its final iteration.)
Bishop, who ran a strong third in the March mayoral First Election, crossed party lines and endorsed Alvin Brown toward the end of the runoff, campaigning with Brown in high-visibility visits to the Riverside area, where Bishop won some precincts.
This happened after Bishop reportedly told Curry that Brown’s re-election would lead to a “lost decade” in Jacksonville. And after Bishop supporters jumped the gun by announcing that they backed Alvin Brown, in an email that seemed designed to convey Bishop’s endorsement to Brown that they had to clarify soon after sending.
The ill will between the Bishop and Curry camps continued through the election, with Bishop (who had previously done a press conference saying that he was running for mayor in 2019), taking fire from the GOP establishment throughout the election.
Since Curry’s election, Bishop has had business in front of City Council, and the dynamic has been friendly with his former colleagues, suggesting that regarding the campaign, there may be momentum in City Hall to let bygones be bygones.
However, that momentum may not extend to the GOP establishment. Local Party Treasurer Lindsey Brock, a member of the Jax Chamber Public Policy Board, is already looking at the race, insiders say. Bishop would, therefore, meet resistance from the Republican Executive Committee, with which he already has a fractious relationship.
Worth watching: Bishop’s thoughts on Lenny Curry’s move on the expansion of the HRO. Curry, who said further legislation would not be prudent, extended all-inclusive employment non-discrimination provisions to employees of the city and employees of vendors doing business with the city, which would include local powerhouse companies like J.B. Coxwell and W.W. Gay.
Bill Bishop may not be the only Bishop on the ballot in 2019. Democrat operatives are bracing for a potential challenge to Joyce Morgan in Arlington from Melody Bishop, Bill’s wife. Word on the street is that GOP money would back Mrs. Bishop. We have reached out to Melody Bishop for comment on this narrative.