Former Dem Rep. Alan Grayson to challenge for old House seat

Former Dem Rep. Alan Grayson to challenge for old House seat
© Greg Nash

Former Rep. Alan GraysonAlan Mark GraysonFlorida's Darren Soto fends off Dem challenge from Alan Grayson Live results: Arizona and Florida hold primaries The Hill's Morning Report: Frustration mounts as Republicans blow up tax message MORE announced he will challenge his successor, Rep. Darren Michael Soto (D-Fla.), in the Democratic primary, Politico reported.

Grayson left his seat in 2016 to run for Senate but was beaten badly in the Democratic primary by then-Rep. Patrick MurphyPatrick Erin MurphyNo anti-Muslim bias at Supreme Court: Constitution, argued properly, protects all religions Texas to bar all chaplains from execution chambers Supreme Court stays execution of Buddhist inmate in Texas MORE.

The Democratic Party, which backed Murphy’s campaign against Grayson, was hoping to avoid another primary battle with Grayson.

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Grayson has said that he doesn’t care what the party thinks of his candidacy for Florida’s 9th Congressional District.  

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

Soto said he thinks he has the resources to win his district again and plans to “run another inspiring campaign with a strong coalition of support among Hispanics, African-Americans and women,” according to Politico.

Even though he has more name recognition and money, Grayson will have to answer difficult questions that came up during his 2016 Senate campaign concerning his finances and domestic abuse allegations.

Grayson has denied any wrongdoing, but told WFTV he regretted abandoning a safe House seat for a chance at the Senate.

According to Politico, Democratic Party officials in Florida and Washington, D.C., are worried that Soto might not be able to take on Grayson without outside financial help.

They also worry Grayson could hurt the party’s ability to use the power of the “Me Too” movement, Politico reported.