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More GOP money finds Al Lawson, while Corrine Brown is forced to self-finance

Among the interesting buzzer-beater donations in Congressional District 4 and 5 races: traditional GOP donor Peter Rummell, who cooled on John Rutherford in CD 4, played in the CD 5 Democratic primary against Corrine Brown.

Yes, more GOP establishment money — in the form of a $1,000 check from Rummell — found its way to 5th Congressional District Democrat Al Lawson as time ran out on pre-primary fundraising, in a scenario reminiscent of Rummell’s backing of Alvin Brown for mayor in 2011.

On Aug. 24 and 25, Lawson brought in $6,400. The check from Rummell, along with $2,700 from Jim Horne, the former education commissioner.

Corrine Brown has attempted to attack Lawson for having Susie Wiles introduce him around town, but Lawson has been able to deflect it, even downplaying his connection with Wiles in the Florida Times-Union.

Rummell, who fell out with Rutherford over the former Jacksonville sheriff talking up Angela Corey at a fundraiser he hosted, clearly sees Lawson’s campaign as a worthy investment … especially conspicuous given the existence of a GOP nominee in Glo Smith.

Hopefully, Rummell won’t decide to call the paper and say, at some future point, that Lawson “wimped out.”

Meanwhile, incumbent Corrine Brown brought in $25,000 on Aug. 25 and 26, including $1,000 from CBC colleague Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.

Alas, $20,000 of that money was a personal loan … suggesting that the grassroots have been clipped for the congresswoman. Brown, unlike Lawson, has not been on TV in Jacksonville, and we hear her operation out west is even more skeletal than it is in Dirty Duval.

***

Speaking of Rutherford in CD 4, he closed out the campaign like a winner, with $16,000 of new money on the 26th. Primary opponent Hans Tanzler did even better, with $18,000 in the last two days of fundraising. Lake Ray, meanwhile, brought in $2,700 on Aug. 25.

The question many are watching: who between Tanzler and Ray will finish second? A third-place finish  despite Tanzler’s million-dollar campaign is possible according to polls.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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