“They are city dwellers,” he said of the DCCC. “They don’t always know how it works here.
At a meeting hosted by the DCCC on Wednesday evening, CBC members asked Maloney, a New York Democrat, about the group’s lack of support for Lawson, according to a person who attended the meeting. The effort was spearheaded by some of CBC’s most prominent members, including House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, Rep. Maxine Waters from California and Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas.
“Incumbents should always come first, and Al has always been a loyal soldier here in DC,” said Nancy Texeira, a longtime Lawson adviser who works for a pro-Lawson super PAC this election cycle. “He’s a good colleague. He always gives and never asks, and Democrats should come together and support one of their own. That’s loyalty. That’s why you’re in a party.
The super PAC, Southern Roots, released a poll on Wednesday that had Dunn with a 6-point lead before respondents were given the poll questions. This margin was reduced to 2 points when asked the questions. The poll had a sample that included 42% Republicans, 41% Democrats and 14% with no party affiliation. The newly drawn 2nd congressional district where Lawson is running is leaning Republican by 11 points.
About two dozen CBC members rallied behind Lawson at a Monday meeting at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, with Clyburn making an impassioned appeal for support, according to a person who attended the meeting and spoke on condition of anonymity. speak freely. Jackson Lee at one point also questioned the Democratic strategy of boosting far-right Republicans in the primaries who are seen as weaker opponents in the general election — a longstanding problem among Democrats, some of whom fear that it will turn against the party.
“Sheila Jackson Lee said, ‘I’m sick of Democrats giving away money to play in Republican primaries to back a bad Republican candidate with hopes they get in general and lose to the Democrat,'” said a person who attended the meeting. “She said she knew why the DCCC did it, and I understood it was a campaign strategy, but it can’t come at the expense of our own incumbents, and Al Lawson is an incumbent. .”
A DCCC official said he would not “comment publicly on internal conversations” but was “engaged in Rep. Lawson’s campaign.”
Lawson represented what was Florida’s 5th congressional district, a Democratic-leaning seat that stretched from Tallahassee to Jacksonville along Florida’s northern border, which included several black communities. But DeSantis pushed the state’s Republican-led legislature to dramatically redraw the borders during this year’s once-a-decade redistricting process. It was the only district that played reliably for black voters north of Orlando.
The map championed by DeSantis, which gave Republicans an edge in 20 of Florida’s 28 congressional seats, is the subject of a legal challenge but will be in place by the 2022 midterms.
“It should resonate here [in Washington] more than it is — not just because of Al and more than for Northwest Florida — but it’s about holding DeSantis accountable,” Texeira said. “When DeSantis wiped out his neighborhood, it was obviously shocking and really sad to a lot of people, especially since this neighborhood is home to so many African-American communities, and many are direct descendants of slaves.”
representing Joyce Beatyan Ohio Democrat who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, said the maps drawn by DeSantis and passed by the legislature speak to the country’s “long history of racial gerrymandering” and the need for the party to support Lawson.
“Efforts to undermine the rights of Northwest Florida communities through the elimination of historic African American electoral districts pose a direct threat to our democracy and are intended to intentionally disenfranchise voters,” she said. “The rights of African Americans and other minority communities are in serious jeopardy – we simply cannot be spectators to this injustice.”
Lawson has represented the conservative North Florida region on and off since 1992 — including nearly two decades in the Florida Legislature — and his supporters say that positions him as a Democrat uniquely apt to win in a GOP-leaning seat. .
“They kind of wrote off areas in North Florida because it has a high population of conservatives and so on,” Lawson said. “But I represented this field for a long time and, in fact, I represented Neal Dunn for 10 years when I was in the Florida Senate. I really feel we can win.