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Abel Harding

Abel Harding is a 7th generation Floridian with a deep love for the Sunshine State and its people. Raised in rural North Central Florida, he moved to Jacksonville in the mid-1990's. A long-time banker, he serves as the area president for a regional bank.

In addition to his 25-year banking career, Harding has a life-long affinity for writing. He began with essays and letters to the editor in high school and later founded JaxPoliticsOnline, a blog focused on politics in Northeast Florida. The blog broke numerous stories and was named “best local politics blog” by Folio Weekly. In 2009, Harding left banking to join the  Florida Times-Union, the state's oldest daily newspaper, as its business and politics columnist.

While with the Times-Union, Harding began the widely-acclaimed "Florida Morning" blog that was the first-of-its-kind daily digest of Florida politics. He received numerous awards during his journalism career, including Sunshine State Awards from the Society for Professional Journalists for "Broken Trust" and "Secret Agent." During his tenure with the Times-Union, Harding served as a political commentator for First Coast News, the Jacksonville affiliates of ABC and NBC, and WJCT Radio, the local NPR affiliate.

Harding left the Times-Union to serve as the director of communications for the City of Jacksonville and as a special advisor to the mayor. After leaving city government, Harding re-joined the banking industry in the fall of 2011.

Harding has served in leadership capacities for a number of local nonprofit organizations and government agencies, including the Jacksonville Planning Commission, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, One Spark, JAX Chamber, and Operation New Hope. He currently serves on the board of  the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, the state agency responsible for public transportation in the Jacksonville region. He also serves as a trustee of WJCT Public Media, the local affiliate of PBS and NPR, and as a board member for the Jacksonville Humane Society. He is in his last year as chairman of JAX BIZ, the political action committee of JAX Chamber.


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