Politics

Grayson Raking in Donations but Won’t Say Where He’s Running

Former Democratic congressman could be targeting his old seat in Florida’s 9th District

Former Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., could be looking to win back his old seat after a failed Senate campaign in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After raising nearly $60,000 in the last campaign filing quarter of 2017, it’s clear former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson is honing in on running for Congress in Florida again.

What’s unclear is where exactly he’ll spend his money.

“Yes, this cycle is what I’m looking at,” Grayson told Politico Florida in a telephone interview Monday. “But Florida law says I can run anywhere.”

Democrats in the state have long seen the former three-term congressman as something of a rogue actor within the party.

After losing the 2016 Democratic Senate primary to former Rep. Patrick Murphy, who lost to GOP Sen. Marco Rubio in the general election, Grayson’s team never stopped sending campaign contribution emails.

“He doesn’t care what people think, including his own party,” Aubrey Jewett, a professor of political science at the University of Central Florida, told the Orlando Sentinel. “That endears [him] to some people and drives some people crazy. That’s the nature of Alan Grayson.”

His base of support includes mostly small individual contributions.

Grayson has about $500,000 in cash on hand, per his latest Federal Elections Commission filing, and has raked in around $320,000 since last January. (He also has a running debt bill upwards of $2 million from his failed Senate campaign.)

Democrats worry Grayson could have his eye fixed on his former seat in Florida’s 9th District held by freshman Democratic Rep. Darren Soto.

Soto had roughly $290,000 in cash on hand at the end of the last filing quarter, a small sum for an incumbent.

Soto, though, did not signal he had been sidetracked by the Alan Grayson show.

“My main focus right now is on the issues my constituents care about, the economy, health care, and finding a DACA fix,” he told the Sentinel.

Grayson has never lacked confidence, and he believes he would have a leg up were he to pose a challenge to an incumbent Democrat.

“I think that in that circumstance, it would [be] a Democrat challenging me,” he said.

Correction, Feb. 13, 2018, 1:30 p.m. | An earlier version of this story misstated the amount of money raised by Alan Grayson. He took in about $320,000 in 2017.

Watch: Four Things to Watch as 2018 Election Season Officially Nears

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