September 19, 2007

Walkin' Lawton's First Walk

From his first bid for public office, this Lakeland Ledger ad he paid for on September 4th 1958 shows him just before he clobbered incumbent state representative Roy Surles in an upset victory.

Lawton and Rhea knocked on some 13,500 doors in Polk County and corralled a team of volunteers to leave reminder palm cards on the doors of voters the night before Democratic Primary Day, September 9th.

Once Lawton had won the Primary, there was no doubt he would carry the General.

Polk County was full of "yellow dog" Democrats back then.

Many young professionals in Lakeland saw Chiles as one of them, part of a new generation of folksy progressive politicians ready to challenge the calcified legislature leadership--known as the "Pork Chop Gang."

No comments: