Day one of the nascent CD 5 primary campaign between incumbent Congressman Al Lawson and former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown hasn’t lacked for fireworks.
Late this morning, in response to Brown entering the race, Lawson blasted the Jacksonville Democrat as being a careerist looking for his next gig, after failing as mayor.
“Alvin failed as mayor,” Lawson said bluntly, “and a lot of people in Duval are saying he’s just looking for a job. If he’s looking for a job, this is the wrong place to look.”
“People I speak to weren’t thrilled with [Brown] as Mayor,” Lawson said, adding that he believes Brown is running because “he needs a job.”
“He was trying to be Edward Waters College President,” Lawson said, “but he didn’t make the shortlist.”
[NOTE: EWC President Nat Glover denies the claim in comments to POLITICO Florida.]
Lawson saw it as ironic that Brown was running against him, given that at multiple points in the past, “he wanted me to help him raise money” for campaigns.
Lawson vowed that his campaign would “retire” Brown
Brown’s campaign fired back Tuesday afternoon, calling Lawson a “privileged Congressman” who’d “gone Washington.”
“After Mayor Brown heard from voters in CD-5, there is a clear sense that Lawson seems generally uninterested in serving the district and has gone Washington,” Brown’s campaign asserted.
“At a time when civil rights, voting rights, immigrant rights and women’s rights are under attack, Lawson seems content to live the life of a privileged Congressman who refuses to fight for the people of his district,” Brown’s camp added.
We have reached out to Lawson’s camp for response to this riposte from the Brown campaign.