John Peyton (U.S. politician)

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John Peyton
US Navy 070413-N-8102J-012 Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton addresses invited guest at the groundbreaking ceremony for the state-of-the art facility that will provide space for five P-3C Orion squadrons.jpg
John Peyton speaking during a groundbreaking ceremony in 2007
Mayor of Jacksonville
In office
July 1, 2003 – July 1, 2011
Preceded by John Delaney
Succeeded by Alvin Brown
Personal details
Born (1964-07-28) July 28, 1964 (age 52)
Jacksonville, Florida
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kathryn Pearson
Relations Herb Peyton and Marilyn Stephens Peyton (parents)
Alma mater Mercer University
Profession President of Gate Petroleum
Religion Episcopalian

John Stephens Peyton (born July 28, 1964) is an American businessman and politician who is currently president of Gate Petroleum. He served as Mayor of Jacksonville, Florida from 2003 to 2011, when he was succeeded by Alvin Brown. He was the second Republican to be elected to the position since 1888. After his term he returned to Gate, his family business, and succeeded his father Herb Peyton as the company's president in January 2012.


Peyton's father is Herb Peyton, founder and principal owner of Gate Petroleum, one of the largest privately held companies in the state. They have made a considerable fortune developing, buying and selling land to both the state and federal governments, as well as owning Ponte Vedra Inn and Club and other clubs and resorts, 225 Gate Gas and convenience stores in the southeastern United States, and several other businesses. Prior to his election as mayor, Peyton served as board Chairman for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority; Vice President of Gate and serving as chairman of the Board of Directors for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and Greenscape of Jacksonville.[1]

Peyton was born and raised in Jacksonville, graduating from the Bolles School in 1982. He attended Mercer University and earned a bachelor's degree, then graduated from the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program.

A long-time bachelor, Peyton became engaged during his first campaign and married Jacksonville physician Kathryn Pearson on June 1, 2003.[2] They have two sons, John Conner, born in 2005, and Kent Thomas, born in 2007

Mayor of Jacksonville[edit]

Peyton was elected mayor of Jacksonville in 2003. At age 38, Peyton was one of the youngest mayors serving a major city in Florida at the time. Peyton survived a crowded Republican primary and defeated the county's Democratic sheriff, Nat Glover, for the seat in a race that was the most expensive in Jacksonville history. He took office in 2003, succeeding John Delaney. In 2007, Peyton defeated community activist Jackie Brown by a margin over 50% to win a second term. Priorities include solidification of the River Accord, Seeds of Change, and his popular early literacy program RALLY Jacksonville!, aimed at educating four-year-olds.

Peyton was named Episcopal Children's Services (ECS) Children's Champion 2006 in recognition for his early literacy program. The honor was created to recognize a Jacksonville resident who has committed their time and resources to help first coast children.[3]

Back to Gate[edit]

Peyton's term of office ended on July 1, 2011, and Alvin Brown took office as the city's first African-American mayor. In a January 9, 2009 interview in the Financial News & Daily Record, Peyton was asked about his plans for 2011 when his term ended. He responded:[4]

I’m going back to Gate and rejoin the family business. I’m looking forward to that. I told dad (Herb Peyton) that he has saved a lot of money because he hasn’t had to pay me for eight years. I think my father is very eager to retire. He wasn’t excited about me running for a second term. If it had been his choice, I would have gone back sooner.

Peyton returned to Gate following his terms, briefly serving as vice president while he got up to speed on the company businesses. In January 2012, Gate announced John Peyton would succeed his father as president, while his father will take a less active role in the company.[5]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2003-02-02. Retrieved 2005-05-18.  City of Jacksonville website, Mayor-biography
  2. ^ "Wedding: Pearson-Peyton" St. Augustine Record, June 8, 2003
  3. ^ [1] NFL Join the, March 2, 2007-Delores Weaver Honored
  4. ^ "A conversation with Mayor John Peyton" (January 9, 2009). Financial News & Daily Record. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  5. ^ "Herb Peyton retires as president of Gate Petroleum". The Florida Times-Union. January 3, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John Delaney
Mayor of Jacksonville
Succeeded by
Alvin Brown