Surprise squeaker for CD 4 Democrats results in victory for LaShonda Holloway

lashonda holloway lj cd4
'I did not expect it to be this close.'

A mandatory recount is on the way, but it appears LaShonda “L.J.” Holloway defeated former state Sen. Tony Hill in one of the low-key surprises of the Primaries. The surprise to Holloway, though, was that the Democratic Primary in Florida’s 4th Congressional District was so tight.

“I did not expect it to be this close,” Holloway said.

The latest unofficial numbers show Holloway with 50.18% of the vote, compared to Hill’s 49.82%.

She acknowledged Hill had an advantage by being in politics for 26 years, so voters knew him locally.

“I thought that we would beat him handily, but given the fact he had more money, in the end, he was able to galvanize the people who voted for him,” Holloway said.

“But I really did think we would be the victor and would have a much larger margin. Notwithstanding any of that, I am very thankful to the voters who not only believed in our message, but for those voters who looked and did their research, because I thought the choice was clear if you did your research, but the problem is most people vote on name recognition.”

This wasn’t Holloway’s first run against a better-funded and more well-known Primary opponent — she took on U.S. Rep. Al Lawson twice, and was going to do it a third time before this year’s redistricting.

Literal signs of Holloway’s ground game were all over the district in places you don’t typically go to gain support from Democrats. In the heart of the Primary campaign, Holloway signs went up in yards in places like Fernandina Beach, home of CD 4 Republican nominee and state Sen. Aaron Bean.

“I campaigned all over the district,” Holloway said. “Remember, I ran before and I ran in Congressional District 5, which was 250 miles. While this district may be 120-plus miles, the reality is, I believe in reaching the heart of the people, and I am just thankful most of our hard work has paid off.”

Holloway launched her first campaign for CD 5 in 2015, as then-incumbent Corrine Brown faced a career-ending indictment for fraudulent use of donor funds.

Lawson defeated both Brown and Holloway with under 50% of the vote, with Holloway’s votes largely coming from Duval and cutting into Brown’s base of support.

She ran again in 2020, getting 18.3% of the vote compared to Lawson’s 56%.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:

One comment

  • Phil Morton

    August 26, 2022 at 5:18 am

    If the win holds, and it most likely will, the margin of victory will come from Clay and Nassau. L.J. was everywhere and once again proved that every vote counts.

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