Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown says he'll challenge Congressman Al Lawson in this year's Democratic primary. The seat was redrawn two years ago through a process known as redistricting, putting two longtime democratic strongholds--Tallahassee and Jacksonville-- into the same district.
Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown held the seat before Lawson, but she lost her re-election bid amid ongoing investigations into a bogus charity she ran. Brown was later indicted and convicted of fraud and reported to prison this week. Lawson says he's not surprised by Alvin Brown's decision, and he sought to link his challenger to his predecessor.
"The former mayor has been talking for months and going around... telling people he was going to run. he'd been going around with Corrine Brown here in Washington D.C, trying to gather support -- I think they're either cousins or friends -- you know, he's a guy whose been looking for a job."
Brown became Jacksonville's first black mayor in 2011 before he was unseated by former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry three years ago.
“These challenging times call for each of us to stand up and speak out about the kind of community in which we want to live,” Brown said in a statement obtained by the Florida Times-Union. “North Florida deserves a pragmatic, visionary leader who will aggressively champion policies that create good-paying jobs, ensure economic and financial security for all, and improve our overall quality of life.”