Jim Hathaway, New Smyrna Beach's native son, seeking 2nd term as mayor of seaside tourism city known for the charm

Party Lines Political Notebook / Headline Surfer®

Jim Hathaway seekking 2nd term as mayor of New Smyrna Beach / Headline Surfer®NEW SMYRNA BEACH – This popular seaside tourist city's native son, Jim Hathaway, is seeking a second two-year term as New Smyrna Beach's mayor.

Hathaway was initially elected mayor in the 2014 general elections, easily defeating then-City Commissioner Jack Grasty in the non-partisan race.

“Serving as the mayor of New Smyrna Beach is a tremendous honor,” Hathaway said of his announcement in an email this morning to Headline Surfer® , “but it also requires tremendous dedication to tackle some very serious issues facing this city. There is a lot more work to be done, and I am asking the citizens for another term to continue working towards a better community.”

“Serving as the mayor of New Smyrna Beach is a tremendous honor,” Hathaway said of his announcement in an email this morning to Headline Surfer® , “but it also requires tremendous dedication to tackle some very serious issues facing this city. There is a lot more work to be done, and I am asking the citizens for another term to continue working towards a better community.”

The 63-year-old incumbent was previously elected four times to the Zone 3 seat on the five-member City Commission with a two-year gap in between when he came up short in a run for a seat on the Volusia County Council. Though he won the three-candidate primary, he came up short in the general election run-off against Deb Denys.

But Hathaway roared back in the 2014 elections after then-Mayor Adam Barringer opted not to seek a third term as mayor. Hathaway handily defeated then-City Commissioner Jack Grasty in the November elections.

During his 18-year tenure on the city commission, Hathaway held honorary posts of vice mayor, and represented the municipality on various boards, councils, and committees through the Florida League of Cities, including its board of directors.

Hathaway also served as the president of the Volusia League of Cities and was a trustee with the New Smyrna Beach Fire Pension Board.

“In my first term I promised I’d work with the City Commission to replace the bleachers at the sports complex, fix the flooding issues in the Islesboro neighborhood, and continue working to make our traffic situation better,” Hathaway said.

He continued, “I’m proud to say the (New Smyrna Beach Municipal Stadium bleachers) are fixed, the flooding issue is substantially better, and we are actively working to improve our traffic problem."

In terms of gridlock, Hathaway was referring to the growing popularity of New Smyrna Beach, with vehicular traffic often backed up 6 to 8 miles coming in from State Road 44 -- even past the I-4  interchange coming into There is more work to be done, but I am confident that with the dedicated group on this commission, we will accomplish our goals and improve the quality of life for all New Smyrnans.”

Hathaway, born and raised in the City of New Smyrna Beach, was a 1971 graduate of New Smyrna Beach High School, and four years later he earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Stetson University in DeLand.

A small business owner, Hathaway has operated a Pepperidge Farm bread delivery franchise in Southeast Volusia since 1991. Prior to that, Hathaway ran Hathaway’s Food Store on Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach, originally opened by his late father, William S. Hathaway, who was mayor, too.

Like his dad, Hathaway is a life-time member of First Baptist Church of New Smyrna Beach. And he served in the United States Army Reserves, earning the rank of captain in the Quartermaster Corps and was honorably discharged.

Jim Hathaway and his wife, Paula, have been married for 35 years. They are the proud parents of four grown children and four grandchildren. 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.