John Marks (mayor)

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John Marks
John Marks.jpg
Mayor of Tallahassee
In office
February 2003[1] – November 21, 2014[1]
Preceded by Scott Maddox
Succeeded by Andrew Gillum
Personal details
Born John Robert Marks III
(1947-07-25) July 25, 1947 (age 70)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jane A. Marks
Children John R. Marks IV
Profession Attorney

John Robert Marks III (born July 25, 1947) is an American lawyer, politician, and former Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida from February 2003 until November 2014. Marks is the longest serving mayor in Tallahassee's history.[1] He was elected to three consecutive terms as the city's Mayor, spanning nearly twelve years.[1] He won a third term in 2010, but declined to seek re-election for a fourth term in 2014. He was succeeded by Andrew Gillum on November 21, 2014.[2]

Marks was Tallahassee's fifth African-American mayor but the first to be elected.


Marks' great-grandfather, Oliver Lewis Coleman, founded Coleman College, a now defunct historically black in Gibsland, Louisiana, in 1887.[2] Coleman College closed in 1952.[2]

He received his B.S. degree in 1969 from the Florida State University School of Business and his Juris Doctorate in 1972 from the Florida State University College of Law. He and his wife, Jane, have a son, John Marks IV (born c. 1976).


Marks served eight years on the Florida Public Service Commission [3] (FPSC) and spent the last two as its chairman, after being appointed in 1979 by Governor Bob Graham. He served on the FPSC during the divestiture of AT&T and was instrumental in the implementation of the Federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA). Before being appointed, he served as an Administrative Law Judge on the Commission. He is a partner in the Tallahassee -based Marks & Marks law firm. He has been an adjunct professor at FSU's College of Law, teaching utility regulatory law and a faculty member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' [4] utility rate school. Member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Mayor of Tallahassee[edit]

On January 4, 2003, Marks' predecessor, then-Tallahassee Mayor Scott Maddox, was elected Chairman of the Florida Democratic Party.[5] Marks announced that he would remain Mayor of Tallahassee until late February 2003, when a special mayor election would be held to choose his successor.[5]

Marks, a former state public service commissioner, entered the 2003 race for Mayor to succeed Maddox. On February 4, 2003, Marks placed first in the mayoral election with 43% against three other candidates.[6] His closest opponent, John Paul Bailey, a Republican Tallahassee City Commissioner and former police officer, placed second with 27% of the vote.[7] City Commissioner Steve Meisburg placed third with 26%, while two other candidates, Tony Davis and Richard Junnier, each received 2% of the vote.[8]

Since no candidate garnered more than 50% in the initial election, a runoff election between Marks and Republican John Paul Bailey was held on February 25, 2003.[6][7] Marks easily defeated Bailey by a 2-to-1 margin in the runoff.[9] Marks received 19,118 votes (67.10%), while John Paul Bailey garnered 9,374 votes (32.90%) for second place.[9][10]


  1. ^ a b c d "Celebration planned to say farewell and thank you to Mayor John Marks". Tallahassee Democrat. 2013-10-18. Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  2. ^ a b c Waters, TaMaryn (2013-11-16). "So long, Mayor John Marks". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  3. ^ Florida Public Service Commission
  4. ^ National Association of Regulatory Commissioners
  5. ^ a b Caldwell, Alicia A. (2003-01-06). "Tallahassee Mayor Leads Democrats". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2015-08-19. 
  6. ^ a b Smith, Adam C. (2003-02-09). "Democrats acquire a farm team". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2015-08-19. 
  7. ^ a b "Fla. Democrats' New Test: City Races for Mayor". The Ledger. 2003-02-09. Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  8. ^ "City of Tallahassee Election 2003". WCTV. 2003-02-05. Retrieved 2015-08-19. 
  9. ^ a b "Tallahassee Election Results". WCTV. 2003-02-26. Retrieved 2015-08-19. 
  10. ^ Walker, Marion A. (2003-02-26). "Lightsey, Gillum, Marks win run-off". The Famuan. Retrieved 2015-08-19. 

External links[edit]