JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—It was a bad night to be an incumbent in several high profile races on the First Coast as primary election results came in.
Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties will see a major shake up in the criminal justice system as both the incumbent state attorney and public defender for the Fourth Circuit lost in their battle for reelection.
State Attorney Angela Corey fell to former Nassau County prosecutor Melissa Nelson in the GOP primary by nearly a two-to-one margin. Corey had recently taken to the airwaves saying the media and others had misrepresented her performance in office. Nelson won the race, partially by promising her office would be more transparent to the public and open with the media.
Nelson will face a write in opponent on the November ballot.
Fourth Circuit Public Defender Matt Shirk lost by an even bigger margin to challenger Charlie Cofer. Shirk was dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct while in office and Cofer, a former judge, promised to clean things up.
Allegations of academic fraud and misrepresentation of school performance might be part of the reason incumbent Clay County Superintendent Charlie Van Zant fell.
However the highest profile incumbent to fall is Congresswoman Corrine Brown. The indicted congresswoman from Jacksonville fell to veteran former state lawmaker Al Lawson from Tallahassee in the newly re-drawn District Five Democratic primary.
Brown was first elected to Congress in 1992.
She was indicted on 22 counts of fraud and conspiracy related to what prosecutors say is a "fake" educational charity she was tied to in Virginia.
Lawson will face Republican Glenda "Glo" Smith in November.