A Florida Democrat missing from Congress and his Jacksonville workplace for almost 2 years might come to regret it, as recently proposed district lines endanger his once-safe seat. Congressman Al Lawson, who has (barely) represented Florida’s Fifth Congressional District going back to 2017, has actually not voted in Washington for at least the last year and a half of the coronavirus panic. And his district office in Jacksonville also remains closed “out of an abundance of caution,” according to images acquired this week by the Washington Free Beacon. So… not much of a loss is it.
The long time Florida legislator has actually won each of his 3 congressional elections by more than 30 portion points. That might alter if Republican Governor Ron DeSantis passes a district map that slices Lawson’s constituency in half. The brand-new district, according to a political analysis by FiveThirtyEight, will prefer a Republican over Lawson.
Lawson’s constituents, specifically in the veteran neighborhood, stated he has actually suppressed their voice in Congress. Steve Adams, a retired Navy leader, informed the Free Beacon the congressman’s lack made it tough for “any veteran attempting to get any type of assistance.”
“When disabled or retired veterans need help navigating the Veterans Affairs’ bureaucracy, their congressman’s office can help get them past the red tape,” Adams said. “They don’t need even more government offices not returning their calls. Veterans are left high and dry without the assistance of their congressman.”
The criticism was echoed by David Trotti, chairman of the Veterans Council of Duval County, which incorporates Jacksonville.
“We need representation in the Jacksonville, Duval County area,” Trotti said during a hearing on redistricting. “It’s like having a football team in the Super Bowl, but your defensive coordinator works for a different team. He’s not at your practices.”
Lawson served in the Florida legislature for years before he beat Democratic Congresswoman Corinne Brown in the 2016 primary. Lawson has actually not dealt with opposition because.
The only members of Congress whose lengthy absence from Congress is on par with Lawson are Reps. Albio Sires (D., N.J.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D., Calif.), Rep. Kai Kahele (D., Hawaii), and Frederica Wilson (D., Fla.). All safe seats without a competitive Republican challenger.
Lawson’s office did not react to an ask for remark. (Shocking, right?)