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Thursday April 17th 2014

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#4 Jim Reeves

How powerful is Jim Reeves? Let’s just say he never has a problem getting a table at McGuire’s.

“I said, I want a table in the very, very back of the restaurant,” Reeves recalled. “All I want is a table to call my own, and I want to come through the kitchen.”

That was back in the 80s. Back when Reeves was on the Pensacola City Council. After he’d served in the state House, but before he stepped away from politics.

These day, Reeves fills his time sitting on numerous boards and committees. Everything from the Pensacola Little Theater to the Community Maritime Park Board of Trustees.

“I’m fortunate enough I have the interest and the time,” he said. “And, to be honest, the more quasi-political it is, the more fun.”

When he isn’t putting in the volunteer hours or practicing real estate law, he might be emailing back and forth with Senate President Don Gaetz. Or riding around in a 1998 Cadillac limousine with a Rick Scott bumper sticker slapped on back and an arsenal of champagne flutes waiting inside.

“I have this affection for cars,” Reeves said.

Speaking of cars, is that John Lennon’s white Rolls Royce parked in Reeves parking lot along Bayfront Parkway?

“I cannot confirm or deny that,” he allows the legend mercy.

Reeves seems to enjoy a good what-if. Like … what if the Irish Politicians Club really does run the whole place?

“The Irish Politicians Club is strictly a social club,” he laughed. “We don’t have any meetings, we don’t have any cross-burnings.”

Reeves founded the IPC more than 30 years ago. It evolved from his table at McGuire’s. They gather in the pub’s back room. They definitely are not secretly pulling all the strings.

“Get me the last induction list of the last Irish Politicians Club!” Reeves called out into his office. “The one with Brian Hooper on it.”

A social club, perhaps, but one with an impressively deep pool of local movers and shakers. The younger members, like Hooper—or attorney Frank White, who Reeves mentions he would have like to see run for the House District 2 seat—are already ones to watch.

Reeves is.

“I hat e that good’ol boy business,” he said, “but if there wasn’t some old guys who know what’s happening, who’s going to teach, who’s going to pass the ball?”

Back To The 2013 IN Power List