Alan Grayson looks poised to attempt another political comeback. Now the question is what is he running for.
Over the past decade, Grayson has had something of a roller coaster career in Florida politics. After losing in a congressional primary in 2006, Grayson bounced back in 2008 to edge Republican Congressman Ric Kreller in a good year for Democrats. Two years later, the GOP had momentum and Grayson, now a favorite of liberals across the nation for his pugnacious and confrontational style, was buried in an electoral landslide taking only 38 percent while Republican Dan Webster cruised with 56 percent. Grayson rebounded yet again in 2012 to win an open Central Florida congressional seat which he held onto two years later. But, in 2016, Grayson flopped badly as a Senate candidate, barely edging Pam Keith out for second place and taking only 18 percent while Patrick Murphy pulled 59 percent.
Grayson quickly set his eyes on a trying to get into the House for a third time, launching a campaign organization to challenge Webster. But he might not opt for the rematch and challenge freshman Democrat Congressman Darren Soto instead in the primary. On paper, Grayson taking Soto on makes some sense. Soto represents a far more bluer district than Webster’s GOP leaning district. In 2016, liberals split their votes between Susannah Randolph and Dena Grayson, letting Soto win the primary. With his wife now technically running Republican Congressman Bill Posey, Grayson could jump in against Soto who pulled 37 percent in the primary back in 2016.
Soto has been doing his best to ensure he is poised to survive a primary challenge from Grayson, including some big endorsements this month including getting the support of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and unveiling the backing of every Democrat in the Florida delegation.
Still, Grayson has shown so signs of backing off his plans to run again for Congress. This week, Grayson stepped up his activity, including holding a debate against a Donald Trump impersonator and showcasing his liberal credentials including his support of a higher minimum wage. Grayson also highlighted his record in Congress.
“In four years, I passed more legislation through the House of Representatives than any other ,member of Congress: 121 bills, amendments and resolutions. That’s why Slate magazine dubbed me the Most Effective Member of Congress,” Grayson emailed supporters this week before making a pitch for money. “Who gets the credit for that? Well, if you have supported our campaigns, then you do. Because you liberated me to do the job, and to do it right.
“During those four years, I was the only member of Congress who raised most of his campaign funds from small donors – and most of that came from monthly donors. 1. Most effective Member of Congress. 2. Only Member funding his campaign from small donors,” he added. “Connect those dots.”
While he is asking for supporters to send $20.18 a month his way. Grayson still hasn’t indicated where he is planning to run. One thing’s for certain. One of the most high profile and polarizing politicians from the Sunshine State isn’t headed to the sidelines any time soon.