October 16, 2007

Skeptics of the Walk

Lots of folks, including family and close friends, urged Lawton Chiles not to begin a walk across Florida that they feared would embarrass him and end his career.

Tom Slade, a GOP state senator from Jacksonville in 1970: "I didn't think he had a snowball's chance in hell. He didn't have any money. He didn't have any organization. It was a total Mission Impossible."

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, who was one of the five contenders for the Democratic nomination in '70: "I didn't think much of it at the time. When he started it we just laughed at it, but he walked all over us."

One patron at McCurdy's Dairy Bar in Jay quipped, "Heck, I wouldn't vote for a man like that. Why, he can't even afford a car."

Citation: Crowley, Brian. "Remembering Walkin' Lawton's 92-day trek across Florida." Palm Beach Post. December 15, 1998.

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