Jacksonville pharmacist plans to run for Congress

Dr. Albert Chester to run against U.S. Rep. Al Lawson in Democratic primary

Dr. Albert Chester and his wife
Dr. Albert Chester and his wife

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Pharmacist Albert Chester announced Friday that he will run against U.S. Rep. Al Lawson next year.

Chester said he'll challenge the two-term District 5 congressman in the 2020 Democratic primary.

Chester stood with his wife and supporters at his New Town Pharmacy off Moncrief Road in Northwest Jacksonville in announcing he will run to represent the district, which stretches from Jacksonville west across the top of Florida to the Tallahassee area, which is where Lawson is from.

Chester said he will be able to use that geography to his advantage.

"We're going to start grassroots. We're going to make phone calls. We're going to beat the streets. That's how we're going to do it," Chester said. "Unlike the previous candidates, I have personal ties to Tallahassee. I spent significant time there. So did my wife. So did my father. So did my mother. So my reach actually expands all the way through I-10, all the way to Gadsden County. 

Chester said he was already planning to run before Lawson's endorsement of Republican Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry in next month's election, but that the endorsement did give him some motivation to move forward with his announcement.