Alan Grayson snags big endorsements in Fla. Senate race

Alan Grayson snags big endorsements in Fla. Senate race
© Greg Nash

Democracy for America (DFA) and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) endorsed Rep. Alan GraysonAlan GraysonEighth Franken accuser comes forward as Dems call for resignation Pennsylania Dems file ethics complaint against Rep. Barletta The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Fla.) over his Democratic primary rival, Rep. Patrick Murphy, for the open Florida Senate seat.

The Tuesday endorsements give Grayson a huge boost as he seeks the Democratic nomination for the seat vacated by former GOP presidential candidate Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade MORE.

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“Having a fighter like Alan Grayson in the U.S. Senate would be nothing short of game-changing for our country and Florida’s struggling working families, and we couldn’t be more excited to help make that happen in the weeks and months ahead," DFA Chairman Jim Dean said in a statement.

"Every step of the way — from Wall Street reform to expanding Social Security to being a national leader for Medicare expansion — Alan Grayson has stood with progressives as one of our boldest and most reliable allies," PCCC co-founders Adam Green and Stephanie Taylor said in a statement. "He's a national leader for expanding Medicare and has consistently said no to cutting Social Security benefits."

The powerful progressive groups — which both tout more than 1 million members nationwide, including more than 75,000 DFA members and more than 59,000 PCCC members in the Sunshine State — provide Grayson with an advantage as the party's establishment rallies behind Murphy.

So far this cycle, the DFA has endorsed Rep. Tammy Duckworth in the Illinois Senate race, former state Rep. Deborah Ross in the North Carolina Senate race, Rep. Donna Edwards in the Maryland Senate race, California Attorney General Kamala Harris in the California Senate race, former Sen. Russ Feingold in the Wisconsin Senate race and former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto in the Nevada Senate race.

The DFA has also backed Bernie Sanders in his Democratic White House bid against Hillary Clinton. The PCCC has yet to endorse a presidential candidate.

Grayson and Murphy are in a heated primary campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Murphy has received a number of high-profile endorsements, including support from President Obama, Vice President Biden and former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.).

Grayson is under fire for continuing to run a hedge fund while in Congress. Top campaign staffers, who have since departed, suggested last year that he close the account, but the liberal firebrand pushed back on the advice, according to emails obtained by The New York Times.

The heightened buzz around the fund prompted Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to call on Grayson to drop out of the race. But Grayson called the reports about his hedge fund “outright lies.”

Murphy has significantly outpaced Grayson in fundraising, but a Public Policy Polling survey from earlier this month found Grayson leading Murphy by double digits, though nearly half of voters are undecided.