(AP) — Republican Rep. Neal Dunn defeated Democratic Rep. Al Lawson for a north Florida congressional seat in a redrawn district that pitted the two incumbents against each other.
Dunn, a surgeon from Panama City, was elected to a fourth term in the U.S. House. Lawson, who is Black, had represented a majority-Black district that was eliminated at the insistence of GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis during redistricting triggered by the 2020 U.S. Census. That move prompted a lawsuit alleging unconstitutional racial gerrymandering, though an appeals court allowed the map to remain in place this year.
The DeSantis-ordered maneuver put the two congressmen in the same district, which is more friendly to Republican candidates. Lawson, a former state legislator from Tallahassee, was first elected to Congress in 2016.
“I’m grateful to the people of Florida’s Second Congressional District for re-electing me to represent them in the U.S. House of Representatives. Serving in this role is a privilege and one I don’t take lightly," Dunn said in a statement released Wednesday morning. "I’m proud to call this district home. I’m looking forward to continuing my fight for more money in your pockets, less wasteful spending, a secure border, and energy independence.”