By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
TAMPA—During last week’s GOP convention one state senator was singled out to receive the Ronald Reagan Lifetime Achievement Award.
Senator J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner was presented the award on the behalf of Lt. Governor Kay Ivey and the Republican Legislature.
“I was honored to recognize Jabo for all of his years of service and dedication to the Alabama Republican Party,” said fellow State Senator Cam Ward who presented the award.
“I was deeply honored and surprised,” said Waggoner. “I was sitting in the back of the room with my wife Marilyn and Cam got up and started talking about the award that carries the name of Ronald Reagan. He was talking about the recipient of course at that point I had no clue who he was talking about. But as he continued I realized, wow, he’s talking about me.”
Waggoner said that as Ward called him to come to the front of the room to receive the award he became emotional. “My first comment was, I am not an emotional-type person, but right now there is a tear in my eye. It was very humbling,” said Waggoner. “They wanted me to say something and it was very difficult. I was able to get out a few comments and I hoped they made sense.”
Waggoner said that like others in public life, he has received many awards, plaques and different kinds of recognition.
“But anything that bears the name of Ronald Reagan is unique. This award goes right to the top of things I have received in public life,” Waggoner said.
The bust of Ronald Reagan was present to Senator Waggoner to also recognize him as the first GOP Majority Leader to serve in the Alabama Senate in 136 years