Politics

Alan Grayson to Challenge Soto for His Old Seat

‘I don’t need anyone’s permission to run for office’

Former Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., will run for his old seat against Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson will challenge Rep. Darren Soto for his old seat in the Democratic primary.

“I don’t need anyone’s permission to run for office. What I’ve done is ask the people,” Grayson said. “I can run anywhere in the state; I could run from Key West to Pensacola.”

Grayson announced on WFTV his intention to run for office in Florida’s heavily Democratic 9th District, anchored by eastern Orlando.

He said it does not matter that the seat is currently held by a Democrat.

The former Florida lawmaker served in Congress from 2009 to 2011 before losing to Rep. Daniel Webster, and then again from 2013 to 2017.

Grayson left Congress after failing to land the Democratic nomination for Senate in 2016. The nod went to former Rep. Patrick Murphy

Murphy then fell to Sen. Marco Rubio in the general election after the Republican jumped back in the race following an unsuccessful presidential bid.

That same year, Grayson’s wife, Dena, ran for his House seat but was defeated in the Democratic primary.

“I wish I hadn’t run for Senate,” Grayson said. “If I hadn’t run for Senate, I’d be in Congress right now fighting Donald Trump tooth and nail right now. I think Donald Trump should be impeached.”

Grayson raised $192,000 in the first quarter of 2018 in preparation for his run.

The Florida Democrat, who still lives in Orlando, was known for making inflammatory remarks during his tenure, saying the Republican health care plan could be boiled down to a few simple steps: “Don’t get sick,” and if you do, “die quickly.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee actively opposed Grayson’s Senate campaign after his remarks.

Toward the end of the Senate campaign, Grayson came under fire when his ex-wife accused him of abusing her and he threatened to have a reporter who asked him about it arrested.

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