Rep. Al Lawson set to challenge Rep. Neal Dunn for Florida’s Second Congressional District

Rep. Al Lawson will face Rep. Neal Dunn in a fight for Florida's Second Congressional District.
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 6:33 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Voters in the Big Bend will see a rarity on the ballot this November: two sitting congressmen vying for one spot.

Rep. Al Lawson (D- Tallahassee) confirmed with WCTV Friday he plans to run for Florida’s Second Congressional District in 2022, currently held by Rep. Neal Dunn (R- Panama City).

The announcement comes after a months-long fight in the courts over the future of Lawson’s Fifth Congressional District, which was dramatically reshaped by Gov. Ron DeSantis and likely won’t be struck down by the Courts before November.

“I didn’t have any other option,” Lawson told WCTV, explaining he waited as long as he could to see if the legal challenges would restore the Fifth District.

Rep. Lawson said he feels confident in the new strategy, believing he can win a much redder district.

“The district does not belong to me, it does not belong to Dunn. It belongs to the people. And so we just need to take our message to the people and let them make the decision,” Rep. Lawson said.

Donald Trump won over voters in the newly formed Second by 11 percentage points.

Matt Isbell is a Tallahassee based data consultant and redistricting expert. He said Rep. Dunn should be considered the favorite.

“It is definitely an uphill fight,” he said.

In a statement to WCTV, Congressman Dunn said he has known Rep. Lawson for a long time, but expects voters to re-elect him in November.

I respect him and his lengthy service to the community. With that said, we have dramatically different policy views on how to solve America’s problems. Thanks to his party’s leadership and policies, inflation is at a 40-year high, gas and energy prices are skyrocketing, and businesses are struggling to overcome supply chain and workforce woes. I look forward to the coming months where we will have an opportunity to talk about those policies, and I am confident the voters in this district are far more aligned with my views than Al Lawson’s.”

Rep. Neal Dunn (R- Panama City)

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