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"It's time our community chose a leader who will put students first, support parents & teachers, and deliver results for our schools."

James T. Golden is a native Floridian who has been a leader in the Manatee County community for the past 25 years. He has been a Manatee County Public Schools substitute teacher across all grade levels and chairman of the School Advisory Council at Louise R. Johnson Middle School.

Born in Jacksonville and raised in Daytona Beach, he learned the values of hard work, service, and leadership from his parents and considerable extended family. His father, Rev. James C. Golden, Jr., was a pastor and public school teacher. His mother, Vivian, was a high school guidance counselor.

After completing the 10th grade, James T. Golden was accepted as an early entrant to Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. He volunteered in 1967 to serve in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1969.

Following his military service, James T. Golden received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Stetson University in 1970. He earned his Juris Doctorate degree in 1974 from the University of Florida's Frederic G. Levin College of Law. James T. Golden has been a practicing attorney since he was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1975. After answering his call to ministry in 1981, he began attending the Turner Theological Seminary at Atlanta University where he received his Master of Divinity degree in 1984.


Between 1993 and 2014, James T. Golden served our community as pastor of Ward Temple A.M.E. Church in Bradenton. However, desiring to serve more than just his congregation, he also served two terms on the Bradenton City Council after being elected in 1999 and reelected in 2003. While there, he led the way in establishing the Central Community Redevelopment Area that created more than $50 million in funding for central Bradenton’s capital needs. Additionally, he led efforts to annex local industries like Tropicana and Mixon Fruit Farms into the city to broaden the tax base and increase revenue without raising taxes. James T. Golden served as the city’s Fire Commissioner, Chaplain, and the city’s representative on the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.


James T. Golden has served on a number of charitable and non-profit boards, including Manatee Glens Mental Health Hospital (now Centerstone), Meals on Wheels, and Just for Girls. He now serves as pastor of Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church in Port Tampa.

He is married to Mildred Moten-Golden, the owner of two small businesses in Bradenton. They have six children and twelve grandchildren, all of whom attended or are attending Manatee County Public Schools.

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