Al Lawson Unseats Jacksonville Incumbent Corrine Brown In Congressional Primary

Aug 31, 2016

Credit Regan McCarthy WFSU News

After a 24-year career in Congress, Corrine Brown has lost her seat to former state senator Al Lawson.

Brown’s defeat can be blamed in part on a new district that stretches across the Panhandle to cover voters who knew little about the congresswoman except that she’s facing a criminal indictment. But Lawson says his victory stems from more than that.

"Before the indictment we was virtually even and so that means that we had to go at it very hard. It appears that the indictment did not hurt her that much in Duval. A lot of people in Duval still stuck with her. But what happened is we was able to carry our message to the other part of the district and because of being able to carry it to the other part of the district. That’s what made us successful,” Lawson says.

The indictment against Brown stems from fraud charges alleging she had planned to use a fake charity as a personal slush fund. Brown has refused to comment to the media about the charges and wrote in a blog post she’s not responsible for proving her innocence. Lawson came away with nearly 48-percent of the vote. And while he says he feels confident going into the November General where he’ll face off against Republican Glo Smith, he says he doesn’t plan to slow down.

“I feel confident about the general but we’re going to work it just like we worke dit before. We’re going to make sure that we make it up to Washington,” Lawson says.

Congressional District Five, which includes parts of Tallahassee and Jacksonville is a largely Democratic leaning district.