Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown is running for Congress, marking a return to politics nearly three years after losing a re-election bid to Lenny Curry.
Brown, a Democrat, issued a statement Tuesday that he would challenge fellow Democrat and first-term U.S. Rep. Al Lawson for the 5th Congressional District seat, a large territory covering parts of North and West Jacksonville and as far west as Tallahassee.
“These challenging times call for each of us to stand up and speak out about the kind of community in which we want to live,” Brown said in a statement.
“North Florida deserves a pragmatic, visionary leader who will aggressively champion policies that create good-paying jobs, ensure economic and financial security for all, and improve our overall quality of life,” the statement continued.
Brown served as mayor from 2011-15.
Brown has been largely absent from the public eye since 2015, although he did make appearances during the federal prosecution of former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, who was indicted last year on 22 charges including fraud and tax evasion. He was at her sentencing hearing in December.
His announcement came less than 24 hours after Corrine Brown reported to a central Florida prison to begin a five-year sentence.
Alvin Brown was elected as Jacksonville’s first African American mayor in 2011, but only served one term. He lost a close race to Curry in 2015.
Before taking on a Republican candidate, Brown will need to beat Lawson in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary election.
Lawson unseated Corrine Brown, who had held 12 consecutive terms in office. Most consider his ties to Tallahassee stronger than those to Jacksonville, in contrast to the former congresswoman.
Lawson previously represented Tallahassee-area districts in the Florida House from 1982 to 1992, and the Florida Senate from 2000 to 2002 before his bid for Congress.
A request for comment was not immediately returned by Lawson’s office.