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Al Lawson voted for continued action in Yemen. One of just five Dems in the House to do so. (Photo: A.G. Gancarski)


New endorsements signal Al Lawson momentum in re-election bid

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson continues to demonstrate momentum as early voting continues in the Democratic primary for Florida’s 5th Congressional District, with two key endorsements conferred upon him Tuesday.

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorsed Lawson, calling him a “strong supporter of women’s health and … a dedicated advocate for Planned Parenthood health centers and the people they serve.”

“This endorsement means so much to me,” Lawson said. “I pride myself in standing tall for the rights of women. Sometimes, that means facing backlash from people with opposing viewpoints, but this endorsement means that my efforts are being appreciated where it counts.”

Another endorsement that signals appreciation: backing from the Florida Times-Union, the hometown paper of Lawson’s primary opponent, former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown.

The paper lauded Lawson’s “no-drama approach,” saying there’s “no compelling reason” for Jacksonville voters to “abandon the incumbent.”

Mayor Brown’s candidacy was intended to bring the seat back to Jacksonville; however, that’s not a priority of the local paper’s editorial page.

The endorsement of the Times-Union may not have done much to change the race, which increasingly looks like a comfortable win for Lawson, per a St. Pete Polls survey of the race released Monday that shows him with a 22-point lead.

Lawson has strong leads of 15 percent and up among all surveyed demographics with appreciable data: whites and blacks, men and women, and every age cohort.

Lawson vowed to “retire” Brown, a “failed Mayor,” early in the campaign. The rhetoric has been less combative in recent days, and perhaps that’s another sign the race is closing.

The Democratic primary is Aug. 28. The winner of it will face Republican Virginia Fuller, a first-time candidate without an appreciable campaign infrastructure.

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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