Another week brings another brutal news cycle for the re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. Al Lawson in Florida’s 5th Congressional District.
This week saw Lawson singled out for praise by none other than President Donald Trump.
Lawson was the only member of the Congressional Black Caucus to applaud Trump during the State of the Union last week.
Monday, the Tampa Bay Times flagged POTUS lauding Lawson.
“Who was that guy? He was a nice guy. I think he was a reverend. And he was clapping,” Trump said in Cincinnati. “And I wouldn’t say it was exactly a rousing — but he was putting his hands together. And I want to find out who he is. I’m going to send him a letter of thank you. And he was probably severely reprimanded.”
It’s doubtful whether a “letter of thank you” from Trump would help Lawson in a primary against former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, who is happy to pillory Lawson as a DINO.
“It is deeply troubling that Al Lawson claps for the Trump agenda in Washington as people back home struggle to make ends meet. While the black jobless rate is at its lowest levels following President Obama’s years of hard work, there remains more to be done,” the former Jacksonville Mayor said after the SOTU.
With the Trump comments in the bank, Brown went farther.
Brown is now fundraising via email calling Lawson “Trump’s favorite.”
“And yesterday, Donald Trump called all Democrats ‘treasonous,’ except one. That’s because President Trump has a new favorite ally in Congress: Al Lawson,” the email asserted.
Brown’s campaign went deeper with comments in reaction to Florida Politics.
“It’s telling that Al Lawson has now changed his tune after getting caught applauding Donald Trump’s agenda. One week he praises Trump, and the next he backtracks, claiming that’s not what he meant to clap for. While we can’t trust Lawson, North Florida can rest assured: Alvin Brown will never get a ‘thank you’ card from Donald Trump,” the campaign asserted.
“This election is too important to send a Congressman who embodies ‘business as usual’ back to Washington. Unlike Lawson who’s content with the status quo, Alvin Brown will fight for our veterans, more investments in education, expanded voting rights, higher wages, and economic opportunity for all Floridians. We need a strong voice in Congress who will tackle the real problems facing our country — not someone who says one thing in DC and another in Florida,” the campaign added.