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Alan Grayson drops U.S. Senate bid, now intends to run for Florida state Senate

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Alan Grayson drops U.S. Senate bid, now intends to run for Florida state Senate

Jun 11, 2024 | 3:34 pm ET
By Mitch Perry
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Alan Grayson drops U.S. Senate bid, now intends to run for Florida state Senate
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Former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson is shown at left. Source: Screenshot from 2022 campaign ad

Alan Grayson has filed to run for the Florida Legislature.

The former three-term Democratic congressman had been a candidate for the U.S. Senate, but he didn’t appear to be making much traction against establishment favorite Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

On Tuesday, he filed to run in Florida’s Senate District 25 seat, which is being vacated by term-limited Democrat Victor Torres. The seat encompasses all of Osceola and a part of Orange County. Grayson is the third Democrat to enter the race, joining Democratic state House member Kristen Arrington and Carmen Torres, wife of Victor Torres.

Two Republicans have filed in the race: Osceola County School Board member Jon H. Arguello and businessman Jose Augusto Martinez, though neither has officially qualified yet (the deadline is this Friday at noon).

The seat leans strongly Democratic, with 38,000 more registered Democrats (113,614) than registered Republicans (74,427) as of earlier this year, according to the Division of Elections. In fact, No Party Affiliation voters constitute the second most registered voters in the district (103,165).

If he does officially qualify for the race, it would be Grayson’s first bid to serve in the Legislature. He represented a Central Florida congressional district from 2008-2010 and again in 2012-2016. But he has lost his last three races — the 2016 Democratic Senate primary against Patrick Murphy; the 2018 Democratic primary in Congressional District 9 to Darren Soto; and the Congressional District 10 primary against Maxwell Frost in 2022.

Grayson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While still running for U.S. Senate, he had publicly dismissed the notion that Florida was now a red state, saying that Democrats simply weren’t converting enough supporters into registered voters. He had discussed the possibility of registering 1 million Democratic voters to make the state competitive in this year’s elections. Currently, there are more than 906,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats in Florida, according to the Division of Elections.