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Rep. Al Lawson: Opponent Alvin Brown Was Already Rejected By Jacksonville Voters

Kevin Meerschaert
Rep. Al Lawson (D-5FL) appeared Thursday on First Coast Connect

The Democratic primary race in Florida’s 5th Congressional District officially got underway this week as incumbent Al Lawson and former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown both qualified to be on the August ballot.

Both candidates had already been taking shots at each other on the campaign trail.

Brown has accused Lawson of too often supporting the agenda of Donald Trump. He’s pointed to a report on FiveThirtyEight that shows Lawson voted along with the Trump administration more than any other member of Florida’s Black Congressional Caucus.

Appearing Thursday on WJCT’s First Coast Connect, Lawson said he decides his votes based on what he believes is best for the people in his district.

He also fired back at Brown, saying he already has been rejected by the voters of Jacksonville.

“I don’t know a great deal about Alvin Brown other than that he must have not done well, because he wasn’t re-elected as Mayor,” he said. “I don’t see a lot of programs and stuff he did to improve the crime situation here in Jacksonville, cutting police officers. I just don’t know that much about him other than he called me one time when he was running for mayor and said he wanted to be just like me.”           

Brown has been invited to also appear on First Coast Connect.

The Florida primary election is set for August 28. The only announced Republican in the race is Virginia Fuller, a registered nurse from the Big Bend town of Inglis, but she has not yet qualified to be on the ballot. Candidates for Congress in Florida do not have to live within district boundaries.

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax..     

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.