Hobbled by scandal, Corrine Brown is defeated by Al Lawson
Indicted Rep. Corrine Brown of Jacksonville was defeated Tuesday night, scandal upending her long congressional career as Al Lawson of Tallahassee blew past her.
Unofficial results showed Lawson with 47 percent of the vote, to Brown's 39 percent.
Brown, first elected in 1992, has endured controversy before, but in June she was indicted on fraud charges over connection to a charity, One Door for Education Foundation Inc. She and others are accused of taking money intended for scholarships.
She also had the challenge of a redrawn district that extended into Lawson’s turf.
Brown, 69, vehemently fought the charges and brought up race as a factor. But Lawson, who is also African-American, said it made her unfit for office.
The indictment says that from late 2012 to early 2016, Brown and an associate “did knowingly and willfully” conspire to solicit donations to One Door for Education “based on false and fraudulent representations that the funds would be used for charitable purposes” including scholarships and the purchase of computers for local schools.
They took in more than $800,000 in donations, according to the indictment
Former state legislator Lawson celebrated at the Moon in Tallahassee. "Thank you to the voters of Florida’s Fifth Congressional District for inviting me into your homes and businesses, sharing your stories, and giving me the great honor of being a candidate for Congress," he said in a written statement. "Now we’ve got to get out there and meet even more people, hear what’s on their minds, and make sure we’re doing all we can to encourage others to get out and vote this November. I promise be a leader District 5 can trust and to work hard to deliver for the people of North Florida."