U.S. Rep. Al Lawson endorsed the re-election of Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry Friday, WJXT reports.
Lawson is the second major Democrat to officially endorse Curry, following in the footsteps of former Jacksonville Mayor Tommy Hazouri.
Lawson called Curry “a strong leader for Jacksonville … focused on the issues that matter most to our community: fighting crime, creating jobs and creating opportunities for children in all neighborhoods.”
“Lenny Curry has worked across the aisle to build partnerships that deliver results for all of Jacksonville’s families. He has earned my respect and support,” Lawson said.
Curry said that “Congressman Lawson has been a strong advocate for Jacksonville in Congress and I have appreciated our opportunities to collaborate in a bipartisan manner to keep Jacksonville moving forward.”
Per WJXT, a formal announcement is planned for Friday morning.
Curry faces two Republicans (Anna Brosche and Jimmy Hill) and independent candidate Omega Allen on the March ballot.
Thus far, he has a major fundraising edge, with over $3 million on hand at last report.
Brosche has courted the support of Democrats in her intraparty challenge, and many prominent members of that party back her bid.
However, Lawson (a Democrat from Tallahassee, who has worked well with Curry since his 2016 election) is a big get for Curry’s operation.
When Hazouri endorsed Curry, the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee spent $170,000 on the ad buy.
Lawson’s endorsement may be another opportunity to demonstrate that Curry, a former Republican Party of Florida chair, works effectively across the aisle.
“I think he’s going a great job … reaching out to all sides … doing what he needs to do as a politician,” Lawson said.
Conversely, Lawson never heard from Brosche, even when she was Council President. Sheriff Mike Williams expressed a similar point last month.
Curry called Lawson a “great partner and friend … a great advocate for Jacksonville.”
“When we talked,” Curry said, “he said ‘I’ve been wondering when you were going to call me’.”