The Democratic primary campaign in Florida’s 5th Congressional District has, up until now, been a battle of dueling press releases (except for when incumbent Congressman Al Lawson vowed to retire challenger Alvin Brown).
Business looks likely to pick up soon, however, if the former Jacksonville Mayor gets his wish, expressed on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.
Let's do it. I am ready to debate @RepAlLawsonJr in all 11 counties. From the start, my campaign has been about the entire district and working together. I formally challenge @RepAlLawsonJr to 11 debates, 1 in each county.
— Alvin Brown (@Alvin4Congress) July 11, 2018
Lawson, to this point, has not responded to the challenge.
CD-5 is a sprawling east-west district, running from Jacksonville to Tallahassee along Interstate 10. It has, as one alert reader noted, eight counties.
— Matthew Isbell (@mcimaps) July 11, 2018
Brown and Lawson, two historically conservative Democrats with a history of working across the aisle, have attempted to message to the left during this campaign, even as both men accused the other of being sellouts to the Republican machine.
Brown messaged heavily on a shot of Lawson applauding President Donald Trump at the State of the Union; Lawson, upon hearing of Republican Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan backing Brown, has accused Republicans of “trying to buy the seat.”
Interestingly, when Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry challenged Brown in 2015, Curry wanted town hall forums in every Council district.
Brown, an incumbent who was up in polls almost to the end, didn’t take the bait.