Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2014

Democratic Power Broker to Meet With Al Lawson #FL02

A contentious Democratic primary threatens in Florida’s 2nd District and August is shaping up to be a consequential point in the race.

Florida Rep. Corrine Brown plans on traveling to Tallahassee in the coming days to meet with former state Sen. Al Lawson, the party’s 2012 nominee. Lawson is publicly mulling another run, as national Democrats are overtly behind contender Gwen Graham, daughter of former Sen. Bob Graham. Florida Democrats point to Brown as a top power broker in this conflict.

“I would like to say that I’m going to talk with the parties involved and make a decision at that time,” Brown said in a phone interview when asked if she will endorse.

Lawson is a proven force in primaries, but there is concern that he will not be able to defeat GOP Rep. Steve Southerland II in the general election campaign. Lawson lost to Southerland in 2012 by 6 points and the seat tops the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s list of pick-up opportunities this cycle.

“That district is definitely in play,” Brown said, pointing to the college campuses in the Florida panhandle region. The race is rated Lean Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Brown and House Assistant Minority Leader James E. Clyburn hosted a 2012 fundraiser for Lawson when he successfully ran against a candidate favored by the DCCC. Lawson said in a recent interview that he would seek Clyburn’s and Brown’s support.

“I was planning on meeting with Al right after session,” she said. “I just have not had a time to meet with him. I want to sit down and talk with him.”

Brown added that she already met with Graham and her father.

“My backing will be for the people of that area, making sure they have adequate representation,” she said.

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