Travelin’ Man: Al Lawson, Tallahassee
Al Lawson didn’t have much time for football games or family outings this fall, instead spending an average of three to five days a week on the road trying to get Democrats elected to the state Senate. By Linda Kleindienst
Travelin’ Man: Al Lawson, TallahasseeState Senate Democratic Leader and Insurance Executive
Al Lawson didn’t have much time for football games or family outings this fall, instead spending an average of three to five days a week on the road trying to get Democrats elected to the state Senate.
As incoming Senate Democratic leader, it was his job to crisscross the state, raising campaign cash and advising many nervous first-time candidates. While consumed with the political side of his life, and a Senate district covering 11 counties, he also had to maintain his insurance business. But that juggling act is nothing new for Lawson, who has served in the Legislature for 26 years and often worked weekends and late evenings to support his family.
The dueling jobs leave him little time for leisure, but gardening and the Bible help him maintain a semblance of normalcy.
– Linda Kleindienst
How I get around: Flying. It might not be my favorite, but it’s the best way to go.
Must-haves for travel: Two cell phones, reading materials from the office to keep up with what’s going on in the state, and letters from constituents that I can dictate replies to.
Relaxing: I plant flowers, do yard work. I probably have 9,000 plants in my yard. People tell me it looks like a park. You can’t think about anything else when you’re out there planting.
Reading favorite: The Bible. I don’t read it as much as I should. But it calms you down. You know that it is a book that was meant for everybody to live by.
Gadget fun: I love the TV remote control.
Favorite splurge: I don’t splurge, but I like cherry pie.
Comfort food: I’ve always liked a good New York Strip. I could eat it two or three times a week, although I know it’s not the right thing to do.
Staying in shape: I try to walk at least three or four times a week. It helps me relax and gives me a chance to think. I like to go early in the morning. It helps to clear your head and plan out the day. I used to run, but now it’s walking.
Favorite pro teams: Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers. I switch back and forth.
Wheels on the road: The X5 BMW, but I still have my 1993 Acura Legend with 100,000 miles on it.
60th birthday celebration: I invited about 100 people to a party at my church, in the fellowship hall of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. People ask me why I don’t belong to the big black churches in town; I like a small church, and I don’t like the long services.
First job: Working on the tobacco fields in Gadsden County. I was 8, earning $1 a day.