No shortage of experience between candidates in the Congressional District #2 race

Al Lawson and Neal Dunn
Al Lawson and Neal Dunn(WCJB)
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCJB) -After his district was overhauled in the once-a-decade redistricting process, Democratic Congressman Al Lawson is challenging Republican incumbent Neal Dunn in a GOP-leaning North Florida district.

The two third-term congressmen are vying in sprawling Congressional District 2, which Dunn holds. The district includes Democrat-heavy Leon and Gadsden counties, but it also includes the Republican stronghold Bay County and numerous conservative rural counties.

Lawson has represented Congressional District 5, stretching from Jacksonville to Gadsden County. But the district, which was designed in the past to help elect a Black representative, was revamped in a redistricting plan that Governor Ron DeSantis pushed through the Legislature this spring. Lawson is counting on his record in Congress to sway voters.

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”It goes from eight counties, now to 16 counties,” said Lawson. “And they extend west to Republican-leaning areas. And what I ask people in the district (to do) is compare my record over the last six years to Neal Dunn’s record over the last six years.”

Dunn said changes this year to District Two’s boundaries decreased the statistical advantage he would have had if the district had remained the same. Dunn said he has made efforts to reach out to Black voters, for instance by visiting Gadsden County as he has campaigned for re-election. Although, he points to his conservative views as setting him apart from Lawson.

”I’m a better fit for that district, let’s be honest, than Al is,” said DUnn. “But, you know, he’s been in the state House for a long time. He’s a nice guy, people like him. He’s just not conservative, it’s that simple, right?”

Lawson’s political career spans roughly four decades, including a nearly 20-year tenure in the state House and 10 years in the state Senate. He was elected to Congress in 2016. Dunn, a surgeon from Bay County, was also elected to Congress in 2016.

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