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Lawson Ponders CFO Race

With Florida Democrats still looking for somebody to run for Chief Financial Officer, Sen. Al Lawson said Monday that the search may end with him.

Lawson told the News Service of Florida that he’s seriously considering abandoning his Democratic primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd and filling the empty Democratic slot for the Cabinet post being vacated by Alex Sink, a candidate for governor.

“There’s a lot of people concerned about the direction of the CFO race and they’d like to get someone in there who knows the insurance industry,” said Lawson, D-Tallahassee, who is also an insurance agent.

“But I’ve got to make up my mind by the beginning of the year if I’m going to make a statewide run,” he conceded.

Lawton just last month was touting a poll his campaign commissioned showing the Boyd, a blue dog Democrat, could be beaten in the North Florida district. Boyd had 43 percent unfavorable ratings from voters for his work in Congress – compared with 45 percent support – after recently siding with Republicans against the Obama-backed health care overhaul.

But Lawson may be on his own in looking to step into the CFO’s race, where only Republican Senate President Jeff Atwater of North Palm Beach, and Rep. Pat Patterson, R-Deland, are candidates.

“The Florida Democratic Party is currently talking to potentially strong CFO candidates, people we’d be very excited about and are close to making a decision,” said Eric Jotkoff, a state Democratic Party spokesman.

Is Lawson among those?

“No,” Jotkoff said.

Democrats have been struggling to find a CFO contender, with Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, former gubernatorial son Bud Chiles, and Palm Beach County Sens. Ted Deutch and Jeremy Ring among those who have either been courted or took a look at the race and declined.

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