Money Isn't Everything In North Florida Congressional Race

May 12, 2016

Congresswoman Corrine Brown is far out-raising her opponent former State Senator Al Lawson, in the Democratic race for Congressional District 5. But a local party leader says money isn’t everything.

The newly redrawn Congressional District 5 runs from Tallahassee to Jacksonville, splitting Leon County in half.
Credit https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Redistricting/MapStats

According to the Federal Elections Commission, Corrine Brown has brought in $355,000, eclipsing Al Lawson’s $22,000. But Democratic Party stalwart Jon Ausman says that’s a low yield for a sitting member of Congress.

“To be an incumbent member of Congress since 1992, for that long, and only having $360,000 in the bank, actually encourages opponents. Doesn’t discourage them,” he said.

And he adds Lawson has won on a budget before.

“When Al first got elected to the State Senate he only raised about $71,000 yet he beat former Sheriff Eddie Boone who raised a quarter of a million dollars, and State Representative Jane Gayle Boyd who also raised a quarter of a million dollars. So Al has a lot of support,” he said.

By splitting Leon County in half, the new Congressional District 5 favors populous Duval County. And while voter turnout is historically higher in the capitol city, Ausman doubts it will be enough to overpower Jacksonville. Brown is plagued by an ongoing ethics investigation, but a recent poll shows her edging out Lawson 42% to 36%.