JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Donna Deegan is lacing up her sneakers to run, but this time it's for a political marathon.
Deegan announced her run for the 4th Congressional District of Florida on the steps of a home on Riverside Avenue.
Her name is just as well-known as her story.
The Jacksonville native and longtime news anchor is a three-time cancer survivor.
"I began hearing stories of women who were traveling the same road only they were trying to decide between putting food on the table for their kids or saving their lives," Deegan said.
She is the founder of 26.2 With Donna, which draws thousands of marathoners from around the world every year.
Deegan said she's making access to health care her focus.
"Health care must be a right for every American," Deegan said.
She'll face incumbent John Rutherford.
The district includes parts of Nassau and St. Johns counties, a deep red district where Rutherford has enjoyed support.
"You're going to need the support of some Republicans to cross over and vote for you. How do you plan to do that?" asked Action News Jax reporter Lorena Inclán.
"Well, by listening. That's really what it comes down to," answered Deegan.
Deegan was not affiliated with a party up until last year, when she registered as a Democrat to vote in the primaries.
Supporters like Dave Rogers are excited to see her step up to the plate.
"Thousands of people run through walls every year for Donna, so we're going to line those folks up, and we're going to run through walls for her for this election," Rogers said.
Deegan explained why she's running now.
"I'm here because I truly believe we are on the edge of cliff in this country," Deegan said.
Rutherford's campaign sent Action News Jax this statement: "The Congressman has no comment on any one of the number of candidates that have filed to run in the 4th District. He looks forward to running a vigorous re-election campaign focused on his record of results for the citizens of Northeast Florida."
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