Potential candidate for Clinton running mate has NE Florida connection

Retired admiral James Stavridis vetted as potential candidate by media

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – There's a lot of speculation about who Hillary Clinton will be naming as her running-mate, and some of that talk involves a big northeast Florida connection.

The New York Times and other major media outlets are reporting that a retired admiral, James Stavridis, is being vetted as a potential candidate.

Stavridis currently lives in Massachusetts, but he has a local connection.

Bookmark owner Rona Brinlee first met Stavridis many years ago when he came into her shop.

"Ever since then, he's come in every time when he's here with his family, when he's here on vacation or visiting his mom," Brinlee said. "He's an amazing reader, so I just love talking books with him."

The retired four-star Navy admiral is the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. He's been NATO's supreme allied commander and the commander of U.S. Southern Command.

News4Jax political analyst Jennifer Carroll said the retired admiral would be a solid pick, especially taking into consideration the challenges Clinton has faced in the polls recently.

A vice president like Stavridis could counteract some of the negativity involving issues like her email security and decisions she made concerning Benghazi.

"The admiral will bring that plus to the table, that he is a trustworthy person. No one can go through his military record and show that he has any improprieties there," Carroll said.

Stavridis has published six books, including one in which he writes about his love of Atlantic Beach and the family he has there.

In November 2014, the admiral did a book signing at The Bookmark, an event Brinlee said showcased his kind demeanor.

"He's extremely approachable and friendly, and I say that not just to me, and to my staff, but also to customers," Brinlee said.

Though he was born in West Palm Beach, to some his connection to Atlantic and Neptune beaches makes the area more of an adopted hometown.

"I would be happy to claim him as a local, anytime, absolutely," Brinlee said. "I think he has a pretty strong attachment to the beaches."

News4Jax talked to the admiral's mother, who said she was very proud of her son, but that any other questions would have to go to the Clinton campaign. News4Jax has not heard back from them.

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