By Martie Thompson
Recently elected St. Johns County Commissioner for District 4, Jeremiah Blocker, has attended two Board of County Commissioners meetings and is endeavoring to learn as quickly as he can.
“I was sworn in on Nov. 20 and just had my second meeting on Dec. 4,” Blocker said. “I think it’s important to take the time to learn the lay of the land.”
Blocker said he and wife Lauren made the conscious decision to move to St. Johns County from Jacksonville because they wanted to start a family and find a great community, and then would find jobs. They settled in Nocatee shortly after they were married in 2010 and now have two children under the age of three.
Despite loving St. Johns County, Blocker said he and his wife felt that though the area has great potential, there are some important challenges.
“I prayed about it, and felt it was important for me to step up and try to be a problem solver rather than a complainer,” Blocker said. “I’m not a politician, but I thought maybe we needed someone who wasn’t a politician.”
He said deciding to run for County Commissioner was the “craziest” thing he had ever done, but believed he had the experience and most importantly, the right attitude, to be successful. His wife encouraged him and with her support decided to run.
“I do have concerns as a citizen,” he said. “So I put on my citizen hat and consider the issues and problems, and now I can put on my county commissioner hat and attempt to solve them.”
His top three priorities are safety, to include crime and road safety (overdue infrastructure repairs and improvements); the beach renourishment; and growth.
Regarding the beaches, Blocker said, “Our beaches in St. Johns County are special and affect the entire county. We are unique in that we don’t have a beach renourishment program, so we need to catch up — and try not to burden the taxpayers. We need to try to get state and federal tax dollars.”
He believes growth is a major challenge. “There’s a balance,” he said. “Everyone wants to live in our county, but our citizens are concerned that the growth is too fast. We can’t have ‘no growth,’ but we can scrutinize projects and make sure we are growing at the right time and in the right areas.”
Blocker was born and raised in Ocala, one of five boys and a sixth generation Floridian. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, where he was also a member of the Army ROTC. He joined the Army Reserves and it was after his first semester of law school that he was deployed as a Company Commander of 200 troops, four platoons, to Iraq. He spent a year there living and working with the Iraqi police. He described it as a tough but necessary and important mission. He came home and returned to law school. Wife, Lauren, is an attorney as well, whom he met at the University of Florida. She clerked for federal judges for five years and presently is in-house counsel for a company in Jacksonville.
After his law school graduation, Jeremiah Blocker worked as a prosecutor, first for the 4th Circuit in Jacksonville and then in the 7th Circuit which includes St. Johns County. In 2015 he went into private practice with some colleagues from the Army and specializes in business and real estate law. Continuing his priority of service, he is also a JAG attorney with the Air Force Reserve.
Faith is important to the Blocker family and they are very involved with their church, St. John Paul II.
“I think one of the great things about St. Johns County is that so many people are involved with volunteering — with their church, synagogue, in schools and in the community,” Blocker said. “It sets us apart from many other places in the state I’ve lived.”
Photo courtesy Jeremiah Blocker
The Blocker family.