Jarret Romanello, The St. Lucie Post
May 6, 2021
Fort Pierce’s Mayor Linda Hudson’s strength is in her vision, not a label. “When you walk through the door of Fort Pierce City Hall, you leave partisanship behind you,” Mayor Hudson explains.
Born in Fort Pierce and raised off South Jenkins Road, her dad owned the Sunrise Ford Tractor Company. After graduating from High School, she attended the then Indian River Junior College before majoring in English and History at the University of Florida.
After college, she moved to Chicago with her husband and retired from the Health Care Industry after 25 years. In 1994, she moved back to Fort Pierce after her first husband passed away.
The daughter of a bookkeeper at WR Grace in Fort Pierce – Hudson quickly became concerned about the City’s budget. She began attending city budget meetings before being encouraged to run for Mayor.
Ms. Hudson was elected Mayor by 61 votes in 2012 as a Republican. Three years later, she switched to No Party Affiliation. “It’s easier to serve with no party affiliation. If someone knows my party affiliation, they will judge me, and that’s not fair; I don’t want to be labeled nor need one to serve our citizens,” says Mayor Hudson. City of Fort Pierce elections are nonpartisan, leading to a more cohesive local government.
Optimistic about the City’s future, the Mayor explains, “King’s Landing is joining a thriving downtown; new businesses are coming, and we are preserving the country charm out west of town to preserve our agricultural history and culture while implementing smart growth.”
The Mayor is excited about the growth of the western part of the City and the county. The Willow Lake project will bring a wave garden surfing center to a 200-acre development off Midway Road. Businesses like Home Depot, Gander Outdoors, Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, and Camping World are already nearby.
“It is a great location and transportation hub,” the Mayor says about where the Turnpike and I-95 meet at Okeechobee Road. Improvements underway on Kings Highway will make a good route from the Treasure Coast International Airport to the Turnpike and I-95. Head east, and you are on US 1 and at the Port of Fort Pierce. “All planes, trains, people, businesses, cars, and trucks are coming to Fort Pierce – they all meet here,” the Mayor boosts.
What’s more, the Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) plans to extend Jenkins Road from Midway to Orange – creating an essential north-south corridor, and plans are underway for a Turnpike exchange at Midway Road to alleviate Okeechobee Road congestion.
Shortly after being reelected in 2020, Mayor Hudson’s second husband, John Bailey passed away. Overcome with grief and widowed a second time, she continues to implement her vision for the City, “I think that every rough thing you go through makes you stronger – when you can’t make sense of something, you have to learn from it,” the Mayor says.
Her vision inspires smart growth, her leadership promotes responsibility, and her character remains above reproach. The only label Mayor Linda Hudson wears is a genuine person leading her community and making a tremendous impact while doing so.