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NE Fla. Voters To Hear From 4 Congressional Candidates At 2 Events

Left to right: Donna Deegan, John Rutherford, Gary Adler, Al Lawson
WJCT News & News4Jax

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL5) and Republican challenger Gary Adler will take part in a virtual candidate forum at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14, while incumbent U.S. Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL4) will be debating Democratic challenger Donna Deegan two hours later, at 8 p.m. 

The 6 p.m. virtual candidate forum for Florida's Fifth Congressional District is being presented by the League of Women Voters of Jacksonville/First Coast and produced by WJCT Public Media. The forum will be moderated by Melissa Ross, host of WJCT News' First Coast Connectwith Melissa Rossand the Florida Roundup.

Lawson has served as Florida's representative in the Fifth Congressional District since 2017. Before that he served in the Florida Senate. Adler is a Jacksonville businessman. District 5 covers parts of Jacksonville, stretching to west of Tallahassee.

A free registration is requiredto view the District 5 Congressional forum.

Then at 8 p.m. WJCT News 89.9 will carry live audio of the Deegan-Rutherford debate, which will also be streamed on and in the WJCT app.

Related: Local, State And National 2020 Election News

That televised debate is hosted and produced by WJCT News partner News 4 Jax in partnership with Jacksonville University’s Public Policy Institute.

Rutherford, who is running for reelection to the Fourth Congressional District seat, is a former Jacksonville sheriff.

Deegan is a former First Coast News anchor and founder of The Donna Foundation and the Donna Marathon, which raises money to fight breast cancer.

The Fourth Congressional District covers parts of Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.