Candidate Walks in Run for Governor; He's Following in the Footsteps of Lawton Chiles, Who Wrote the Book on Walking Campaigns

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY DICKSON

WAYNESVILLE - When most people run for office, they seek out advisers on health care, the environment and taxes.

State Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, sought advice on walking shoes and socks.

Scott approached Brunswick on Friday more than 500 miles into his walk around the state that he hopes will bring him the name recognition he needs to run for governor in 2010. Before he started he sought out the advice of hikers.

"When we announced we were going to run for governor, we knew from the start we were going to have to do something different,'' he said.

Different, yes. Unique, no.

In Florida, Lawton Chiles wrote the book on a walking campaign in 1970 when he went from being an obscure state senator to the U.S. Senate and later governor, partly from the recognition from his 1,000-mile walk around Florida in 91 days.

Scott said his advisors kept mentioning Chiles when they sought a way to get his name before as many people as possible.

Standing on a two-path dirt road in Waynesville at the Glynn-Brantley County line, Scott said he never thought he'd spend $18 for a pair of socks. People who had hiked long distances told him he needed socks that would wick away moisture and keep him from getting blisters. …