Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Alvin Brown Kicks off Race for House; by Christopher Hong

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Alvin Brown Kicks off Race for House; by Christopher Hong

Article excerpt

Byline: christopher.hong@ jacksonville.com

Former Mayor Alvin Brown announced Tuesday he is running for the U.S. House of Representatives, marking his official return to politics after a nearly three-year hiatus.

Brown, who will challenge U.S. Rep. Al Lawson in this year's Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District, said in a written statement that he chose to run because the region, state and country can "do better."

"These challenging times call for each of us to stand up and speak out about the kind of community in which we want to live," Brown said in his statement. "North Florida deserves a pragmatic, visionary leader who will aggressively champion policies that create good-paying jobs, ensure economic and financial security for all, and improve our overall quality of life."

Elected as mayor in 2011, Brown became the first African-American to hold the top post in City Hall. He served one term before losing a bitterly fought campaign in 2015 against Mayor Lenny Curry in

what turned into the most expensive mayoral race in Jacksonville's history.

Brown, a former appointee in the Clinton administration, has kept somewhat of a low profile since leaving City Hall. His announcement Tuesday ended months of speculation over whether he'd run against Lawson.

Brown's candidacy will be a race of redemption not just for his own political career, but also for Jacksonville, which for 24 years saw one of its own, former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, hold control of the district. The city's reign ended in 2016 after Lawson, D-Tallahassee, defeated Brown.

The district's boundaries, once a narrow slither that zig-zagged south from Jacksonville to Orlando, were redrawn before the 2016 election after a judge ruled that it violated the Florida constitution's Fair Districts amendment against gerrymandering.

The newly drawn district, like the old one, includes a large swath of North and West Jacksonville. …

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