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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-11-07 08:49 PM
Original message
Lawton Chiles' Niece Runs for U.S. Senate
Walkin' Lawton is smilin' tonight.



(St. Petersburg Times files: Fraser Hale 1995)
Wrapped in a coon-skin vest (if you dont know why, ask a longtime Floridian), former Gov. Lawton Chiles is inaugurated for his second term in January 1995.




http://www.theledger.com/article/20071111/NEWS/711110410/1134">Lawton Chiles' Niece Runs for U.S. Senate

By Bill Rufty
November 11, 2007


LAKELAND | Two U.S. senators from the same family?
It's rare, but it could happen if state Sen. Kay Ruthven Hagan, the niece of the late senator from Florida and governor, Lawton Chiles, wins in North Carolina next year.

Hagan, 54, is the daughter of Joe Ruthven and the late Jeannette Chiles Ruthven.
She was born in Shelby, N.C., and grew up in Lakeland. ..... In 1998 she ran for the North Carolina Senate.
Her famous Uncle Lawton, then governor of Florida, journeyed to the state and walked her district with her and then-North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt. .....
She won that first race and has been re-elected each time since then.

.....

(Hagan).. said she was always aware of the political genius of Lawton Chiles and hopes to duplicate it in the 2008 elections.
"He obviously was a great mentor to me. As a teenager and young adult growing up in Lakeland, I knew there was this wonderful man in office and moving up higher who was concerned with the working person. And his grassroots ability was phenomenal. He knew a lot of people all over the state and that is what I intend to do in each of the 100 counties here in North Carolina," she said.

Hagan has an uphill battle in the North Carolina race. At least one other Democrat has entered the primary race. Then the winner must go against incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole. .....
"I wouldn't have gotten into the race if I didn't feel Elizabeth Dole was vulnerable," Hagan said. "Since she won election (in 2002) she has seldom been seen in North Carolina, and most people can't name one thing she has done while up in Washington.''






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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-11-07 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. "The ol' he-coon walks just before dawn" Lawton Chiles said to Jeb Bush
in their last debate. Chiles went on to defeat Jeb in that one.

You should have seen the epxression on Bush's face when Chiles said that. It was priceless.

I wish this woman well in her race, and if she wins nomination, I hope she mops the floor with Liddy Dole.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-11-07 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It surely was a moment to savor, Old Crusoe. Nice to see you.
Edited on Sun Nov-11-07 11:59 PM by seafan
.....

But Gov. Chiles rallied, lampooned his opponent as an amateur with no real knowledge of the state, its problems or its people. He warned his younger opponent that "the old he-coon walks just before the light of day," predicting his own savvy, come-from-behind victory. The Republicans made huge advances in Florida in 1994, winning the state Senate for the first time in a century, but they did not unseat Gov. Chiles.

The governor relished this above all victories, celebrating it by wearing a long raccoon coat at his inauguration.




The 'He-Coon' speaks


"The old he-coon walks just before the light of day."

-- Final debate with Jeb Bush, Nov. 1, 1994, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Bush looked baffled. Chiles was implying he would score a come-from-behind victory, which he did.


"It's sort of like saying, "Don't mess with the Lone Ranger.' "

-- Backstage after the debate, explaining his enigmatic "he-coon" comment.


"You know how a deer looks in headlights? That's the sight I saw last night."

-- The day after the debate.




December 5, 2006


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. --Former President George H.W. Bush broke down in tears as he cited his son, Gov. Jeb Bush, as an example of leadership.
Bush was addressing lawmakers, his son's top administrators, and state workers gathered in the House chamber Monday for the last of the governor's leadership forums.

He said he was proud of how his son handled losing the 1994 governor's race to popular incumbent Democrat Lawton Chiles, and vaguely referred to dirty tricks in the campaign. :eyes:

"He didn't whine about it. He didn't complain," the former president said before choking up. As he tried to continue, he let out a sob and put a handkerchief to his face. When he spoke again, his words were broken up by pauses as he tried to regain composure.

"A true measure of a man is how you handle victory and how you handle defeat, so in '94 Floridians chose to rehire the governor. They took note of his worthy opponent, who showed with not only words but with actions what decency he had," Bush said before again sobbing.

.....











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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-12-07 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. seafan, hello to you, and thanks for that great post. Wow. the photos
of Poppy weeping over Jeb's circumstances is really something, isn't it?

The Chiles victory that year was one of the few bright spots on the national stage. We got whomped in a lot of places, but Lawton held on true and strong.

Rick Baker ran Jeb's campaign that year. He wrote a book on the history of St. Petersburg following the defeat and then ran for mayor of St. Petersburg and won. I think he's on at least his second term by now. Baker is a shrewd soul but I don't think he was any match for Lawton's team.

Loved your post. Thank you.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-12-07 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Governor Chiles gave us four additional years of protection from Jeb's wrecking ball.
1992 State of the State address, Governor Lawton Chiles

----"I didn't come here to stay. But I came here to make a difference."


Rest in peace, Governor Chiles.




And you are welcome, Old Crusoe. That was a blast from the past!
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-12-07 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. I worked for the state when Gov. Lawton died, my supervisor was a Republican State Rep
who was a liar, cheat and opportunist. I remember the day before he left for the funeral service in Tallahassee he flatly joked that the old man croaking (his words, not mine) rewarded him with a couple of days off with pay to attend.

What I remember most about that time was me grieving while he was in such a good mood. I didn't understand why at first, Jeb was about to take office in a about 3 weeks, anyway. But I overheard him (my boss) on the phone saying that with Chiles out, MacKay would be less protective. What that meant, I'll never know.

Less than 3 months later, Jeb privatized my position, and though I was without a job and it hurt, it was a relief because I hated working there.

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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-12-07 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Would he were with us still.
I always hated Jeb by reflex and Crist isn't much better.

How good it would be to turn Florida blue up and down the ballot for as many races as we could win in 08.
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-12-07 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. He said of Jeb: "You know how a deer looks in headlights? That's the sight I saw last night."
He was my governor when I lived in Florida; and at the time, had a difficult time understanding how Jeb could have gotten elected in '98. But I eventually came to realize it was the BFEE machine that got him elected.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-12-07 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. I think that's right, and of course it was under Jeb that Katherine Harris
did her dark magic on the Gore-Bush election.

Sad days.
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Rowdyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-12-07 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
4. Lawton was one of my heros when I was a young man....I'll try to send his niece a few bucks....
just to honor him.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-12-07 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. She will appreciate it, thank you! Good luck to her in the campaign. n/t
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