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Aaron Bean leads GOP wave in congressional races

Aaron Bean wins CD4-2.jpg
Will Brown
Jacksonville Today
Aaron Bean of Fernandina Beach became the first Nassau County resident elected to Congress. He will represent Florida's 4th Congressional District. Bean previously served in the Florida Legislature for 16 years.

Aaron Bean will be Northeast Florida’s representative in the newly drawn Congressional District 4. The Fernandina Beach resident comfortably defeated Jacksonville resident Lashonda “LJ” Holloway.

As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, Bean had 60.7% of the counted votes, according to unofficial results. He addressed nearly 200 supporters inside the SpringHill Suites in Fernandina Beach shortly after 8 p.m. when his victory appeared certain.

Bean, 55, heads to Congress after a 16-year career in the Florida Legislature. His district, which includes all of Nassau and Clay counties as well as the portions of Duval County north and west of the St. Johns River, was drawn by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office last spring.

“We believed. You believed we could all do something special. Together, we have succeeded,” Bean told supporters. “Seven months ago, this opportunity didn’t even exist. I was changing course. I was going to do something completely different. I was ending my career in the Florida Senate — a job I so loved. (I) thought life could not get any better. That job has been so rewarding, richly rewarding. You gave me a chance to do that.”

He referenced the creation of the seat that has been challenged by progressive groups for eliminating a minority access district. Portions of Duval County that have been represented by Corrine Brown and Al Lawson for the last 30 years will now be represented by Bean.

Before Bean took the stage, his childhood friend John Drew — the current Nassau County tax collector – told the audience Tuesday was the “tip of the red wave that’s rolling over our nation.”

That is certainly the case in Northeast Florida. Rep. John Rutherford, a Jacksonville Republican, will serve a fourth term after not being challenged in Congressional District 5, which encompasses the southern and eastern portions of Duval County and northern St. Johns County.

Rep Kat Cammack, Republican from Gainesville, defeated challenger Danielle Hawk by more than 20 percentage points. Cammack won her second term with 61.3% of the vote.

“I’m thrilled to have earned the support of constituents in Florida’s 3rd Congressional District,” Cammack said in a statement. “This election was a critical one as we fight to take our country and our House back. Conservatives this cycle have proven to the American people that we’re prepared to put our nation back on the right path by strengthening our economy and lowering inflation, securing our borders, restoring the rights of parents, and stopping the rampant crime plaguing our communities nationwide. Tonight we are sending a clear message that the American people want to put America first and get government out of the way."

Statewide, Republicans won 20 of 28 congressional seats. Rep. Al Lawson, a Tallahassee Democrat who represented Northeast Florida in a district that ranged from Tallahassee to Quincy, lost to Neal Dunn in the newly drawn Congressional District 2.