The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

November 10, 2012

AP Interview: Alabama's last Democrat reviews career

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama voters have canceled "We Love Lucy," one of the longest-running hits in state politics.

Lucy Baxley built a successful political career by always using a campaign slogan playing off Lucille Ball's long-running TV show. Voters did love Baxley for a long time, keeping her in office for years after they dispatched other Democrats. But voters finally put her out of office Tuesday in one of the biggest elections ever for the Alabama Republican Party.

Baxley, the last Democrat to hold statewide office, lost her re-election bid for Public Service Commission president to Republican Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, who took 54 percent of the vote.

Cavanaugh took the oath of office Wednesday morning as Baxley's staff packed up her office.

Her Montgomery home is already on the market. She is planning to move to Birmingham and say goodbye to politics at age 74.

"I am not distressed about not winning," she said. "I am ready to retire. I have worked all my life — from the time I was 19."

Baxley has her third grandchild and first great-grandchild on the way, and she intends to make them the focus of her life after politics.

Baxley never planned on having a political career. She grew up poor in the tiny town of Pansey in southeast Alabama. After high school, she got hired at City Hall in Dothan and then at the county courthouse. She worked with a young district attorney named Bill Baxley and followed him to Montgomery when he was elected attorney general. They later married.

Their marriage ended after his unsuccessful campaign for governor in 1986, and she worked as a single mom selling real estate.

She got the political bug in 1994 and decided to run for state treasurer. With little money, she was badly in need of a catchy slogan. She recalled a button one of her ex-husband's supporters had made in an earlier campaign. It said, "I Love Lucy, and Bill Baxley, too."

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee