Age: 37, Staff Director and Chief Counsel
U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Washington, D.C.
For Donald R. Cravins Jr., the best part about leaving active political life is getting to go home to his wife and children, “just like any other normal person.” In politics, he says, “the best part of my day was serving people, but the hardest part was being away from my family.”
In January 2009, Cravins resigned from his post as Louisiana state senator to become the staff director and chief counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship in Washington, D.C. The 19-member committee’s work affects the U.S. Small Business Administration, whose budget was cut by half a billion dollars during George W. Bush’s administration to pay for the war in Iraq, Cravins asserts. “[The SBA is] the weakest it’s ever been and [this economy] is the worst time it could be that way.”
His new post marks a respite from a whirlwind political career: In 2008, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in the 7th Congressional District of Louisiana; and in 2006, he took over the state senate seat vacated by his father, Donald Cravins Sr., who had held the post since 1992. The younger Cravins was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives, representing District 40 from 2004 to 2006, resulting in the first father and son to serve simultaneously with his father in the Louisiana legislature.
Cravins received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Louisiana State University and a law degree from Southern Law Center in Baton Rouge, La. — to the delight of his father and grandfather. “Thank God I was able to enjoy my political life at a young age,” he reflects. “But now, I get to see the U.S. Capitol Building on my way to work every day and that’s still a dream come true for me.”
Favorite food: Creole
First job: McDonald’s
Movie theater or home theater: Home theater
What artist would you go on tour with: Alicia Keys
Favorite book/author: Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
What actor should play you in a movie: Terrence Howard