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Rep. Al Lawson campaigning with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 2018 [Photo: A.G. Gancarski]


Nancy Pelosi endorses Al Lawson’s re-election — in Alvin Brown’s hometown

Friday the 13th was an unlucky day for former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown.

His Q2 fundraising was $165,000, a modest number compared to many Democratic campaigns, and a seeming letdown, given Brown’s active courtship of Jacksonville money.

Brown, running for the Democratic nomination in Florida’s 5th Congressional District, only had to walk a few blocks from his own campaign headquarters to see House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi endorse incumbent U.S. Rep. Al Lawson.

Lawson, who vowed to retire the former mayor just days after Brown got in the race, seemingly intended with the staging of this endorsement (and a subsequent fundraiser) to send a message to Brown.

However, in contrast to the fiery rhetoric the incumbent put forth when Brown got in the race, the event and press avail had little of that Friday.

It didn’t need it.

The remarks from both, delivered in a crowded, hot room in Lawson’s Northside campaign headquarters, were words of mutual admiration.

The only acknowledgment of a competitive primary came from Pelosi: “I want [Lawson] to win his race. I know it’s Blue [against] Blue.”

Remarks in the media availability, exclusive to Florida Politics, were no more confrontational.

Lawson said he brought Pelosi to Jacksonville not to clown Brown, but to “let people know we’ve been up there working hard for them.”

“We’ve been able to get a great deal accomplished, and we wouldn’t be able to accomplish that without a great relationship with the Leader,” Lawson said. “For her to come here, it’s truly an honor.”

“I don’t know if it sends a message [to Alvin Brown] or not. I’ve had the establishment up there for the last 16 months working with me,” Lawson said.

“It’s a spirited race, the competition is good. We just hope to be successful and to continue to work hard,” Lawson said.

Pelosi would not criticize Brown, saying she’s “here to support Mr. Lawson,” citing “courageous votes” and “his leadership” on tough bills.

“I’m proud to be associated with him, as are members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Agriculture Committee, which is one of his primary committees in Congress,” Pelosi said. “Those who work with him support him.”

Pelosi added that as this is a “blue district,” the endorsement won’t come with money from the party. However, “the hope is that the overwhelming enthusiasm we have for his candidacy will attract support.”

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at

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