Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat known for bucking the Democratic establishment, announced his endorsement of Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders, the Democratic socialist challenging Hillary Clinton for the party's presidential nomination.
Like Sanders, Grayson is in an uphill fight against his party's leaders, challenging Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy for the party's nomination for Senate in the Sunshine State.
“Bernie Sanders and I share a goal of building a grassroots movement of people who want to take back our country from the billionaires and the multinational corporations,” Grayson said in a statement. “We want to make elections into something different: Not the lesser of two evils, but the greater good."
Grayson said he made his decision after conducting an online survey, in which he said 370,000 voted 86 percent to 14 percent that he should cast his superdelegate vote in favor of the Vermont senator. He is only the fifth lawmaker to endorse Sanders, doing so just a day after Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard resigned her post as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee to give an endorsement of her own.
Grayson has made his mark in politics railing against money in politics and income inequality, issues central to Sanders' own campaign. But his credentials on the issues have been criticized by Murphy after questions were raised about Grayson's work on hedge funds based in the Cayman Islands while serving in Congress (Grayson has denied wrongdoing).
Murphy, like many Democratic lawmakers, was an early supporter of Clinton, and she has praised him, too.
The Florida Senate race is rated Tossup by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.