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Congresswoman Brown Draws Democratic Challenger

Ryan Benk

Political newcomer LaShonda “L-J” Holloway is vying to represent Florida’s 5th Congressional district. 

The Jacksonville Democrat announced she’s challenging fellow Democrat, Congresswoman Corrine Brown.

Holloway had to compete with none other than Brown herself for attention at Hemming Park Monday.

At 10:30 Monday morning, the Skyway train is pulled into the Hemming Plaza station on time.  It was supposed to be the start time of LaShonda Holloway’s press conference, but she was late.

Just a couple hundred feet away, Holloway’s opponent, Representative Corrine Brown, spoke at a press conference of her own, so Holloway waited for reporters.

When she finally took the stage, she said she’s not focused on her opponent.

“I am actually running for the people,” Holloway said. “So, I’m not happy with many of the laws and amendments that the members of congress have voted against. From the bank bailouts to the constant attempts to overthrow the Affordable Care Act.”

Holloway said she wants to address government deficiencies, including problems with the Veterans Administration, but is scant on the details.

“I expect to improve veteran services, yes,” Holloway said. “Overall.”

Though she’s never run for political office, her resume shows a fellowship in a Congressional office and a stint in the D.C. mayor’s office in 2007.

She’s also the founder of a Jacksonville nonprofit called All About HealthCARE Advocates, but the organization’s website expired 12 days ago.

Brown doesn’t seem ruffled by her new challenger.

“Someone mentioned it,” Browm said. “Well, well good. Fine. This is America.”

Holloway said she’ll make her run for Congress official by filing paperwork this week.

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.