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Will the gun issue topple Al Lawson in Washington? Alvin Brown hopes so.


Debate on: Al Lawson and Alvin Brown agree to ‘electronic town hall’ on Jacksonville radio

The Democratic primary campaign in Florida’s 5th Congressional District continues between incumbent U.S. Rep. Al Lawson and challenger Alvin Brown.

With a recent poll showing Brown 22 points down, and endorsements from everyone from over three dozen members of the Congressional Black Caucus to the Florida Times-Union going Lawson’s way, Brown opted on Wednesday to re-up a debate challenge made over a month ago.

“The contrast could not be starker between myself and my opponent, and the voters in Florida’s 5th Congressional District deserve to hear directly from both of us about our very different visions for the future,” Brown asserted in a statement.

And apparently, there will be a debate of sorts. Monday’s episode of First Coast Connect on WJCT-FM will see the two Democrats square off in what will be an “electronic town hall.”

This is remarkable, given that earlier Wednesday, Lawson’s campaign manager Philip Singleton shot down discussion of a debate.

“Over the last eight months, we could have organized a debate but people in this district and throughout Florida have already started voting. Early voting started this week in Duval, Gadsden, and Jefferson [counties]. With well over 6,000 ballots already cast, we feel it would be unfair to those voters to have a debate less than 14 days before an election,” Singleton concluded.

We have yet to hear back from Singleton or Lawson regarding the change in plans; however, this appears to be Brown’s chance to make up some ground in polls.

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 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

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