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Why John Rutherford prefers Al Lawson to Alvin Brown

Republican U.S. Rep. John Rutherford obviously won’t vote in the Democratic primary in Florida’s 5th Congressional District between Rep. Al Lawson and former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown.

However, in comments made Monday morning, Rutherford made it clear that he would prefer Lawson retaining his seat to Brown, with whom Rutherford worked for four years in Jacksonville, capsizing the Democrat from Tallahassee.

“We had some real disagreements on what was best for this community,” Rutherford said in Jacksonville about Brown. “I believe he hurt law enforcement and public safety in Jacksonville.”

For years, Rutherford and Brown sparred over budget issues with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, which Rutherford ran from 2003 to 2015.

“I can tell you I’ve worked with Al Lawson in Congress already. He’s a gentleman, he’s bipartisan, and I really like working with Al,” Rutherford said. “He and I have really hit it off big, I think. He’s very supportive of our veterans. We have a great working relationship.”

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The congressman added that Lawson is more than just a “Tallahassee guy,” saying that Lawson “talks about Jacksonville all the time and what’s going on here and the needs of Northeast Florida.”

“He’s very bipartisan. I don’t see him as a Tallahassee homer,” Rutherford added. “We are stronger together than we are apart, I believe.”

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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