County Commissioner Jackson succumbs to COVID-19 complications

Jimbo Jackson

By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer

Longtime Fort Braden School principal Jimbo Jackson, who was in his third term as a Leon County commissioner, died last Saturday after suffering with complications from long-term COVID-19. He was 55.

Jackson’s wife, children and other family members were with him at the time of his death. 

Jackson was a “treasured educator, friend, and true leader,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Bill Proctor. 

Jackson grew up in the Fort Braden community of western Leon County. He started his career at Fort Braden as a teacher in 1992 and became principal in 2008.

His first term on the County Commission started in 2016 and he served nearly six years.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to name a temporary replacement for Jackson, although an election will take place to determine who will serve the last two years of his term. Jackson was unopposed when he was elected in 2020.

“Throughout his tenure on this Commission, as he did his entire life, Jimbo tirelessly fought for this community and especially his district,” Proctor said. “Our county family shares the immense loss of such a talented person with Leon County Schools and everyone at Fort Braden School. Our hearts go out to all those who knew Jimbo so well, and especially the Jackson family during this difficult time.”

Jackson becomes the fourth person with ties to Fort Braden School to die after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Former school employee Jacqueline Byrd died in 2020. A month before her death, Byrd’s 19-year-old son, Jordan, who attended the school and later became a custodian, died from coronavirus.

Not long after, the Fort Braden School community lost Karen Bradwell, who was diagnosed with COVID-19. 

During the summer of 2020, Jackson got his own diagnosis, but never totally overcame complications caused by the disease. 

Ironically, Jackson played an essential role in the county’s effort to provide community-wide aid during the pandemic. He also was a part of plans to widen Capital Circle and installing a playground at Fort Braden Park.

One of his last official acts was at the opening of the Fort Braden History Walk.

Jackson never lost his sense of humor even while he was coping with complications from the disease, said Leon County Administrator Vince Long.

“It is hard to describe Commissioner Jackson’s impact on Leon County as a commissioner, let alone his impact on everyone who knew him,” said Long. “On behalf of the men and women of Leon County government, he was a special part of our county family and will be deeply missed.”


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