In a nod to the late Gov. Lawton Chiles, Leon County Commission candidate Jay Revell is walking across District 5 on Saturday.
The 15-mile trek will start at 7:30 a.m. at the Dorothy Cooper Spence Community Center. From there, Revell will head north on Chaires Cross Road, then head west on Buck Lake Road and Mahan Drive, south on Magnolia Drive and west on Apalachee Parkway. The walk will conclude at the Leon County Courthouse, and Revell will cast his ballot for early voting.
Revell said he was inspired by hearing the story of Chiles walking across the state when he ran for U.S. Senate in 1970, earning the nickname “Walkin’ Lawton.” Chiles walked over 1,000 miles from Pensacola to Key West in a successful campaign.
“My first political hero was Lawton Chiles,” Revell said. “I was 11 years old when he died, and I remember being captivated by the stories my teachers told me about ‘Walkin’ Lawton.’ That’s the kind of politician I want to be — one who spends time on the ground getting to know my neighbors.”
The business owner is no stranger to local business and political circles. He was an aide to Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey during Dailey’s time on the County Commission. He served as Vice Chair of the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce before starting a public relations firm in 2020.
Revell entered the race last year to replace Commissioner Kristin Dozier, who is stepping down from her District 5 seat to run for Tallahassee Mayor.
His name will be on the ballot along with three other candidates: Paul DeBoles-Johnson, David O’Keefe and Dustin Rivest.
At a July 27 forum hosted by the Capital Tiger Bay Club, Revell said he would have voted down the $27 million allocation to upgrade Doak Campbell Stadium.
Revell outraised his opponents in July, collecting $12,000. He has been endorsed by the Tallahassee Professional Firefighters Union and Tallahassee Board of Realtors.
“Our campaign has made community engagement a top priority,” Revell said. “I’ve spent the last nine months walking District 5’s beautiful neighborhoods, and I’ve personally knocked on over 1,000 doors. We began our campaign by meeting our neighbors where they are, and that’s exactly how we’re going to finish it.”