Lee Hawkins is ready to get back to business.
Now that the primary election season is over, Hawkins wants to “get back and focus on the patients” in the dentistry office he shares with his son Benjamin.
“Some have been waiting for me to get through the election,” Hawkins said Thursday. “I’ve been there more than 30 years, so I’m seeing children of children. It’s also great to work with your own son, which is something we’ve always enjoyed.”
Hawkins is ready to relieve the extra load his son took on during the campaign.
“He’s complaining that his back is aching, and he’s a young man,” Hawkins said with a laugh. “This summer, the practice has stayed very busy, and he’s been working hard to keep the doors open.”
Hawkins will step into the office next week. He’s looking forward to some new free time as well.
“I’ll be doing work around the house this weekend that I haven’t been able to do, which is a lot of yard work,” he said. “I love our rose garden and flowers that we grow in different areas of the yard, but it’s gone a bit undone.”
He’s also looking forward to his favorite hobbies, such as trout fishing.
“I’ve fished as far away as Alaska, but fishing in the North Georgia mountains is still my favorite,” Hawkins said. “I might even hit a golf ball or two.”
His wife, Sharon Hawkins, is also looking forward to the free time. The family missed a few birthday parties this summer, and she’s planning a large celebration for next weekend.
“I really have missed cooking and having the whole family — and we have a very large family — come together,” she said. “This is our first real time to have the entire family together and celebrate all the summer birthdays that we’ve missed celebrating.”
She also will get back to work next week. Accredited as a consultant to evaluate professional businesses, she’s looking forward to creating websites and digging back into her job.
“We’re just trying to sort things out at home,” she said. “We might even see a movie tonight. We don’t even know what’s out right now because we haven’t had any recreational time.”
Tuesday wasn’t the end of Hawkins’ political involvement, however. Working in legislative policy and advocacy since the 1980s, he doesn’t see that part of his life ending any time soon.
“We’re going to keep our eyes open on other ways to stay involved,” he said. “The issues are still there, and we haven’t solved those, obviously, such as health care.”
Hawkins testified on health care bills in the 1990s before state lawmakers. As treasurer and then president of the Georgia Dental Association and chairman of the American Dental Association delegation, he also traveled to Washington, D.C., to talk about health bills each year. As a state senator in 2006, Hawkins continued to advocate for his health care beliefs.
“The way to get things done is to make sure other people have the knowledge that you have,” he said. “You have to make sure the legislators know both sides of the issue, and the issues of dentistry, health care and providing for patients will always stick with me.”