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‘Jabo Waggoner: An Alabama Political Legend’

Although State Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) is set to have a biography out about him later this year, he remains among the most active and connected members of the higher chamber. A forthcoming book, “Jabo Waggoner: An Alabama Political Legend” written by author and columnist Steve Flowers, is in the final stages of its publishing process. His previous book cataloguing the most iconic political stories in state history, “Of Goats & Governors”, has now been in circulation for nearly ten years. 

Flowers’ next book details the history-defining career of Alabama’s longest-serving state lawmaker and the ways in which he has never slowed down. 

It covers Jabo Waggoner’s political career, which spans over five decades in the Alabama Legislature. It includes a collection of tributes from current and former U.S. Senators, Congressmen, Governors of Alabama, virtually all state constitutional officers, and a who’s-who of state politics past and present. The book also details accounts of capstone legislation passed by Waggoner, such as the acquisition of 40 blocks for the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1975 — which he considers his most prominent legislative achievement.

RELATED: Flowers: Jabo Waggoner – Political icon

Still today, Waggoner carries most of the bills from his regional colleagues in the House and remains the go-to sponsor when Alabama agencies and departments require an act of the Legislature. 

Workforce development, the distracted driving / hands-free bill, and a salvaging of Birmingham-Southern College’s institutional legacy were all among the most senior senator’s agenda in the past two legislative sessions. He’s active at the mic, chairman of the rules committee, and has an influential role in setting the agenda in the Senate. 

Lobbyists and lawmakers alike know he’s a must-have seal of approval for their legislation to pass. In terms of the demography he represents – he might arguably have the most important constituency in the entire state. 

One insider to the Alabama Statehouse noted: “Jabo’s still got it. This year, he achieved one of his best sessions yet. He successfully advanced the innovation district bill when it was declared dead by everybody but him and even secured alcohol sales on Smith Lake—an outcome I never expected to ever see.

“Remarkably, he accomplished all this without seeking credit or fanfare. His reforms have transformed the Birmingham Water Works Authority board, and the chairman now employs those changes to instill accountability to the public trust. Jabo truly embodies skillful and powerful governance at a very, very high level.”

Flowers’ book, “Jabo Waggoner: An Alabama Political Legend” goes to print July 1 with an official release date expected no later than September 30, 2024.

Grayson Everett is the state and political editor for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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