Tracie Davis drags ‘tired politicians’ after Al Lawson backs Reggie Gaffney

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Outgoing Congressman Al Lawson won’t represent Jacksonville after redistricting, but he made a play in a Duval County state Senate race Friday nonetheless.

Lawson endorsed Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney over state Rep. Tracie Davis, a move announced on a mail piece from Gaffney’s campaign.

Gaffney, asserted the mailer, “will stand against radical MAGA Republicans and defend the rights of all people.”

Contacted Friday by Florida Politics, Davis depicted the Lawson endorsement as yet another example of Gaffney’s transactional approach to politics.

“Did I expect Reggie Gaffney to be backed by the same tired politicians he has suckled from his entire career? Yes I did,” Davis texted. “Nothing about this is surprising in the least. Nor does it matter one bit.”

Gaffney and Davis have attacked each other through what has been a bruising Primary campaign to replace outgoing state Sen. Audrey Gibson, a political veteran who recently entered the 2023 Jacksonville mayoral race. Gibson worked closely with Davis during their six years together in Tallahassee, but she did not endorse either candidate.

Lawson is challenging Republican Neal Dunn out west, in a district that favors Dunn. He will not be serving Jacksonville after this year, but he is for now the highest-ranking Democrat representing Duval County.

The SD 5 Primary is open to Democrats only, as a Republican and a write-in candidate both qualified for the ballot.

The Lawson endorsement for Gaffney is a late development in a race that has seen a lot of twists and turns. We have a full preview of the Primary here.

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