Newberry mayor switches political parties 

Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe. (file photo)
Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe.
Suzette Cook

Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe announced on Tuesday a switch in his political party, becoming the first sitting mayor to join the Forward Party.  

Marlowe has served as mayor for the past 12 years and is registered in the Libertarian Party. In an interview, he said most Americans feel like neither major party, Republican or Democrat, fits them, but in order to have real participation, Marlowe said you need to register with one of the two.  

“I believe that the country is ready for a third party that makes sense, that wants to be positive, that wants to build bridges and partnerships,” Marlowe said. “We just all have to take that leap of faith and register and show with our numbers that we are ready for this third party.” 

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Marlowe earned another term as mayor in April after no one filed to run against him or the two commission seats up for election.   

Marlowe said he’s grown discontent with a Libertarian Party that seems content to argue and point out hypocrisy. But he said the focus needs to be on the agreements between citizens and parties. 

He said the tenets of the Forward Party resonated with him and the party will help heal national divisions that have festered for decades, looking to impact citizens’ backyards without aiming for the limelight of a presidential or gubernatorial campaign.  

Florida officially licensed the Forward Party in April, and the party has already received official status in five other states—California, Texas, Maine, Nevada and North Carolina.    

For 12 years, Marlowe said he’s governed through partnerships and focusing on areas of agreement. As examples of those agreements, he points to bringing an ambulance to Newberry, changing the gas tax structure and bringing a fairground for 4-H and Future Farmers of America.  

A project to move sidewalks needed partnerships with the sheriff’s office, the Florida Department of Transportation and the school board. Other partnerships sit on the horizon like a regional wastewater treatment facility with Archer and High Springs along with a county meat processing center.  

“For me, I feel like now I have a party that supports me wanting to do that instead of a party that wants me to stand against everything and get nothing done,” Marlowe said. “I have a party now that is judging my leadership based on the ability to get things done and to compromise and work with other people.” 

Marlowe said he’s followed the Forward Party from the edges for a while and, when the party reached out, it seemed like a natural fit.  

The Forward Party opposes partisan extremes and the division of America’s current two-party system, according to a press release. The party welcomes “Forward Democrats” and “Forward Republicans” to join its ranks, and its premise reiterates a desire for solutions the majority of Americans can support.  

Forward’s Joel Searby, national director of communities and building, said the party focuses on the 500,000 public offices outside of Washington D.C.  

“The Forward Party is focused on finding and elevating the dedicated servant leaders who will work to bring people together to solve problems that impact our local communities,” Searby said in a press release. “Mayor Marlowe embodies that vision and strategy.” 

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When an elected official decides to switch parties after being elected, they should be removed from office and forced to run again if they want to maintain the office.

By switching parties, they effectively have misrepresented themselves to the voters. Misrepresentation in an official capacity should be treated as malfeasance.

Thomas L Knapp

Yes, because no politician ever changes his mind about anything between elections.


We need public officials who are loyal to biblical principles, morality, and truth over party as Founding Father Dr. Benjamin Rush explained:

I have alternately been called an aristocrat and a democrat. I am neither. I am a Christocrat. I believe that all power will fail of producing order and happiness in the hands of man. He alone who created and redeemed man is qualified to govern him.

Bill Boe

good for the mayor! I left both the Dems and GOP due to back room decisions made that excluded the needs of the public and the communities…competitive Third Parities are essential to serve the public efficiently…and I am confident that at the national level , we would not be in wars without end that do not remotely relate the national defense of the USA!

Joshua Steven Davidson

Welcome Mayor Marlowe.

Hopefully more will soon see the light and join forward party thinking of you as an example.

-Joshua Davidson
Forward Party Candidate for president in 2024


Thus mayor is not a good fit for the community of Newberry. His forward approach has brought us downtown street take over….literally by drunk and stoned youth. Fact

Thomas L Knapp

The community of Newberry — or at least those members of it who have been voting and running for office for the last 12 years — seem to disagree with you.


All several hundred out of how many thousands? And you personally know how they all feel? Do you attend committee meetings? Because I’ve never seen you there. Care to comment on the fact that several hundred youth, smoking pot and drinking alcohol out in the open, were literally standing one foot off the edge of highway 41..both sides, while smoking pot and drinking alcohol?

Thomas L Knapp

Why would I attend the committee meetings of a town I don’t live in (I’m about 15 miles away, in the country)?

He’s been elected four times. This time he ran unopposed. Surely out of the more than 7,000 residents of Newberry, at least one would have bothered to run against him, and a bunch would have voted against him, if there was much feeling that he is “not a good fit for the community.”

Is the mayor the town’s only police officer, or the father of all those youths you’re mad at, or something?


Since you don’t live in my community then your opinion is just that. Means nothing more than you being an argumentative partisan that is…..I dunno, friends or related to the mayor that is not a good fit. The same mayor that not only supported, allowed and stated he will revisit this sanctioned down town (Block’s parties) were all goes as long as its what our young want.

Joan H Carter

I’m glad to know about the Forward Party! Together with the Brave Angels movement, maybe our country can come together and start working again!


Joining 3rd parties is an idealistic exercise in frustration. The mayor was already a Libertarian, and that went nowhere, as he properly recognized.

Same thing will happen to the Forward (nowhere) Party. Good luck.

Thomas L Knapp

Well, it went nowhere … except to four terms as mayor.


He was either elected or maintained the job by default prior to joining this obscure party that stands for everything and nothing.


We need a town government that actively encourages all to participate. The last election that was not an election was a very disappointing example of our community affairs..