In one of the most closely watched congressional primaries in Florida, two Democrats are trying to rally supporters by stressing their opposition to President Donald Trump nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown has hit freshman U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., for not opposing the Trump administration enough. This week, Brown tried to stress his opposition to Kavanaugh.
“Kavanaugh will be a rubber-stamp for this administration's extreme, right-wing agenda,” Brown insisted on Tuesday. “With Kavanaugh on the bench, our values and the fundamental rights of generations to come live on the line. From access to affordable health care and reproductive health to labor unions, gun safety, and civil rights.
“Brett Kavanaugh cannot be trusted. He has a long, troubling record on issues that impact everyday Americans' lives, and the Senate must reject Brett Kavanaugh,” Brown added. “We have less than 50 days to go in this election, and we need members of Congress that will stand up Trump. This nomination is yet another example of his radical agenda for this country.”
Lawson weighed in on Wednesday and noted he opposed the nomination.
“The president’s Supreme Court nominee is deeply concerning and could mean an assault on the basic rights of many Americans including women, individuals with pre-existing conditions and our LGBTQ community,” Lawson said. “Kavanaugh’s appointment would potentially threaten those rights for generations to come. This Supreme Court appointment should not be used as a political weapon, but rather as a tool to ensure basic fairness and uphold our nation’s commitment to liberty and justice for all. I oppose this nomination, and strongly urge our senators to consider what is at stake and remember to put the rights of Americans first.”
Brown launched his campaign back in January after former U.S. Rep Corrine Brown, D-Fla., who Lawson beat in the primaries in 2016, was sent to prison due to fraud connected with a nonprofit. Alvin Brown, who twice ran against Corrine Brown in the Democratic primaries back in the 1990s, got in the race the day after she started serving her sentence.
The former Jacksonville mayor is hoping to do better than his old rival did against Lawson two years ago. While she was hindered by legal troubles in 2016, Corrine Brown was also hurt by the latest round of congressional redistricting. Instead of stretching south to Orlando as the various incarnations of her district had for more than two decades, the congresswoman now found it stretching west to Tallahassee where Lawson was well established from his almost three decades in the Legislature and two previous bids for Congress. Despite more than 60 percent of the district being in the Jacksonville TV market, Lawson prevailed in the primary, taking 48 percent while Corrine Brown pulled 39 percent.
Both candidates have been showcasing their supporters this week with Brown reeling in the backing of Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan and Lawson appearing in Jacksonville on Friday with U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Whoever wins the Democratic primary at the end of next month will be a heavy favorite to keep this seat over Republican Virginia Fuller who ran for Congress in California back in 2012.