On Tuesday, the majority of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus endorsed Rep. Al Lawson ahead of the Democratic primary in Florida’s 5th Congressional District against former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown.
“I am honored to have the endorsement of so many of my colleagues in the CBC,” Lawson said. “They understand, as I do, the importance of fighting against some of the unfair policies of this current administration, protecting affordable health care for all Americans, protecting voting rights, ensuring access to a quality public education, and strengthening marginalized communities all across the nation.”
Alvin Brown, according to sources who saw him in D.C. last year, was making the rounds of CBC members with former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown to solicit support. The en masse endorsement of Lawson suggests that strategy failed. Brown got one CBC endorsement, from Missouri U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver.
Brown has pilloried Lawson as “Trump’s favorite Democrat,” painting him as out of step with the Democratic Party on a number of issues. The two have jousted throughout the campaign, exchanging jabs on everything from Lawson’s positions on “Stand Your Ground“ and ICE, to Brown’s closeness to Corrine Brown and his alleged “failure” as mayor.
Lawson’s endorsements include prominent names, some with connections to Brown’s political past. One such, CBC chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond is an especially notable endorsement given that Richmond campaigned for Alvin Brown in Jacksonville in 2015, when he lost his reelection bid for Mayor.
Another endorsement for Lawson that has to feel like a cruel cut: the backing of Brown’s former political mentor, Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, whom Brown namechecked during a Monday evening forum in Jacksonville.
Another prominent name, Rep. Barbara Lee, is notable, and Brown also mentioned her during the forum.
Also on board: former chairman and current U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, who likewise came to Jacksonville at the behest of former Corrine Brown to stump for Alvin Brown in 2015.
Florida Democratic U.S. Reps. Val Demings and Frederica Wilson also were on the list, in addition to prominent national Democrats such as Reps. Keith Ellison, Hakeem Jeffries, Elijah Cummings and Marcia Fudge.