TLP: Tennessee Lawmaker Credits Experience Racked Up as Hooters Girl
Not every path to elected office runs through law school, the chamber of commerce or even the PTA. A newly elected Tennessee legislator says it was her time as a Hooters girl, more than anything else, that gave her the skills she used to succeed politically.
Julia Hurley is 29, a Republican and the campaign last fall, in which she unseated a Democratic incumbent, was her first venture into politics. She wrote about the campaign for the Hooters company magazine.
AP via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
"I have taken quite a bit of flack from the public at large during my run for State House in Tennessee for being a Hooters Girl," she said. "But I know that without that time in my life I would not be as strong-willed and eager to become successful." ...So much for the stereotype of the skeezy Hooters manager, leering and groping. And, as JDA found out quite randomly, Hurley isn't the first girl to shed the orange shorts and tight tank top and move on to something more.
Hurley said in the article that she first started working at a Hooters store in Alcoa as a way to help pay for college expenses at Maryville College, and later transferred to another store in Knoxville. She left to work for another restaurant and then a bank before becoming seriously ill and taking six months to recover.
A chance encounter with a former manager led to an offer to return to Hooters.
"I had gained quite a bit of weight by then, but he offered it to me anyway," she said. "He took me under his wing and within the year I had gotten back into physical shape and had become a trainer for that store."
Hurley said working at Hooters primed her for success.
"Hooters gave me the opportunity to belong to a group of women who had also struggled, or were struggling, and I was lucky to have managers that saw each girl's potential and coached us, protected us, and helped shape who we are today," she said.
But what do you bet some good ol' boy Tennessee politico asks her to slip back into them? Just to be cute.