State Rep. Files to Run Against Grayson

Posted January 5, 2010 at 10:22am

Florida state Rep. Kurt Kelly (R) filed the paperwork Tuesday for a campaign to take on Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), joining a wide, though not particularly prominent, field of Republicans vying for the chance to knock off the liberal freshman firebrand.Kelly, whose district covers part of Grayson’s 8th district, has been eyeing the race since the fall, but he was waiting to see how the field shaped up.“I am grateful and excited about the encouragement and support that I have received district wide,— Kelly said in a statement, noting early endorsements from local state Reps. Stephen Precourt and Eric Eisnaugle, Lake County Commissioner Jimmy Conner and former Speaker Pro Tempore Dennis Baxley.The self-described “conservative businessman— is serving his second term in the state House and is also the CEO of a company that conducts background searches for employers.Kelly joins seven other Republicans who have formed campaign committees for the race, including attorney and conservative activist Todd Long, retired pilot Dan Fanelli, physician Ken Miller and Armando Gutierrez Jr., a wealthy restaurateur and developer.Republican officials have been working to recruit Orlando businessman Bruce O’Donoghue, who has indicated he is likely to get into the race.