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Al Lawson Becomes Dem Nominee in Fl 2nd Cong. District Race

Sascha Cordner

Former Senator Al Lawson will now be facing off against Republican incumbent U-S Congressman Steve Southerland. Lawson swept the Florida primary election with an overwhelming majority, making him the Democratic nominee in the U-S Representative District 2 Race.

Out of four candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Representative in District 2, Lawson got the most votes coming in at about 64-percent. The former state senator says he took the lead because voters just knew what kind of a man he is, especially since Lawson says he ran a clean race.

“We wanted to make sure that we gave the people the kind of race that they needed, you know someone that they can trust. They know that I will work for them," said Lawson. "Throughout my career, I’ve worked hard for the workers in these communities around here, and so I really give my opponents for their hard work. I just think that I had more name recognition and did more things in the community than any of my opponents.” 

One of Lawson’s opponents is his friend, Mark Schlakman, the Board Chairman of the Innocence Project of Florida. He received the fewest votes at about 6-percent.

He says that’s still feels like quite an accomplishment, since he says there were quite a few well-known candidates in the race.  Schlakman says it’s not end of the road for him, and he looks forward to supporting Lawson in his race against the Republican incumbent.

“Hey, this is going to be a really, really competitive race, and nothing can be taken for granted. And, I think the odds-on favorite has to go with the incumbent and all of the resources that the Republican Party is going to bring to bear on this seat," said Schlakman.  "Having said that, I think Al, Senator Lawson has an excellent chance, and I will do everything that I can to work with him to make sure that November is a positive outcome.”

State Representative Leonard Bembry got the 2nd most votes at about 19-percent, and Alvin Peters, a former chair of the local Democratic Executive Committee in Bay County, retained about 10-percent. Lawson will now be up against U.S. Congressman Steve Southerland on the November 6th ballot.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.