JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Potential mid-term matchups are taking shape as this year’s candidate qualifying period gets underway. Anyone planning to run this fall has until Friday to submit their paperwork.
The biggest change this year involves Florida’s congressional districts. Earlier this month the state supreme court essentially locked in a map backed by governor DeSantis that would dramatically change several North Florida districts.
One of the most closely-watched races could involve two incumbents.
Al Lawson filed and qualified to run as a Democrat in Florida’s Second Congressional District. He could end up facing Republican Congressman Neal Dunn – who currently holds that seat. Lawson has represented much of North Florida – including parts of Duval County since 2016. He can’t run in District 5 because of changes to the state’s congressional map.
Critics say the map was redrawn to silence Black voters. DeSantis said the old District 5 map was a clear example of gerrymandering. The courts agreed to uphold the DeSantis-backed map.
District 5 now includes Parts of Duval County as well as St Johns County. The newly reshaped 4th District includes the rest of Duval, as well as Clay and Nassau counties.
We are also keeping an eye on the upcoming Governor’s Race. So far, Governor DeSantis has qualified, as well as Congressman Charlie Christ. Nikki Fried is listed, but so far, has not qualified.
Candidates have until 12 p.m. on June 17 to file their paperwork. Florida’s primary is on Aug. 23.