PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — It was a good night for Republicans across the state and that strong showing continued in the Panhandle.
Republican Rep. Neal Dunn an incumbent for the U.S. District House 2 seat defeated Democratic Rep. Al Lawson (D). Lawson was also an incumbent but was forced to face off against Dunn when his district was redrawn.
While Congressman Dunn was delivering his victory speech, his phone rang.
It was Congressman Al Lawson, calling to concede the election and congratulate him.
Lawson: “Hey Neal”
Dunn: “How are ya?
Lawson: “Alright man I just wanted to call and congratulate you.”
Dunn: “Thank you very much. You’re a gentleman. You’ve been a good friend for many years.”
Lawson: “You ran a great race.”
Dunn: “Well you did too.”
“Lawson: “I wish you well.”
While touting inflation, the border, and government overspending as his top priorities, Dunn also said there are issues facing District 2 specifically that he wants to address next session.
“This district, and we still see that we’ve left a lot of debris on the ground,” Dunn said. “That debris represents a risk for wildfires and the money is appropriated. It’s sitting there in FEMA. We’ve got to get this money deployed in the proper way and get that debris up. I’m not going to take no for an answer anymore. This has got to happen.”
Matt Gaetz, the Republican incumbent U.S. Representative District 1 cruised to victory against Democrat challenger Rebekah Jones. With half of the vote total reported at 8 p.m. Gaetz was up by 65 percent of the vote.