The Forward Party secured its first elected mayor on Tuesday afternoon after Jordan Marlowe, the sitting mayor of Newberry, Florida, announced that he was leaving the Libertarian Party to join Florida’s recently-recognized Forward state affiliate. Marlowe’s change makes him the Forward Party’s first sitting mayor in Florida and nationwide.
In a LinkedIn post made shortly after news of the announcement broke, the Florida Forward Party praised Marlowe for his partisan switch and what it means for local politics.
“Major News! In a bold move, #Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe has switched to the #ForwardParty,” they wrote. “This positive shift in local politics reflects a growing movement towards progress and unity. The Forward Party is thrilled to welcome more candidates who share our vision for a brighter future!”
In conversation with local Floridian media, The Main St. Daily News, Marlowe said he joined the Forward Party after growing discontent with the Libertarian Party. He states that the Libertarian Party is content to argue and point out hypocrisy when the focus should be on the “agreements between citizens and parties.” He now looks to the Forward Party, which he believes will help heal the current national divisions that have grown to fester over the decades.
Marlowe was first elected to the mayoralty in 2017 and elected again in 2019 and 2021. All three times, he faced no opposition to his campaign. Newberry canceled the 2023 municipal elections after no one stepped up to challenge Marlowe or his colleagues.
The Forward Party, also known as Forward or FWD, is a relatively new political party born from the combined efforts of Andrew Yang’s Forward PAC, the Serve America Movement, and the Renew American Movement.
It has teams of supporters in almost every state and several state affiliates, most of them partnerships with pre-existing political institutions, such as the Common Sense Party in California or the Griebel-Frank for CT Party in Connecticut due to its collaboration with the Serve America Movement. In addition, it has minor party recognition in California, Texas, Maine, North Carolina, and Nevada under the Forward name and has secured ballot access in Florida as of this year. However, it does not plan to field a presidential candidate in 2024.