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Alan Grayson raises $192K in first quarter, says ‘I am running for Congress’ … somewhere

Democratic former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson said Monday he definitely is running for Congress but insisted he still hasn’t decided where yet, as his campaign reports raising $192,000 in the first quarter of 2018.

“I am running for the U.S. House of Representatives,” Grayson said Monday.

But the decision as to which district, “gets answered during the qualifying period,” he added.

Qualifying for the U.S. House of Representatives ballot opens on April 30 and runs through May 4.

Grayson, who served one term representing Florida’s 10th Congressional District and two representing Florida’s 9th Congressional District in Central Florida, is officially filed to run in Florida’s 11th Congressional District this time. However, he maintains he is just holding a spot for his paperwork, so that he can raise money while assessing his options.

In the latest reports, Grayson’s committee raised $192,018, including $71,358 in contributions so small that they need not be itemized, with a total of more than 5,000 individual donations. The committee also spent $53,567 and entered April with $694,967 in the bank.

The progressive Democratic hardliner pointed out that, thanks in part to redistricting, he has represented constituents now scattered about six different congressional districts, including CD 11, CD 10, and CD 9, as well as Florida’s 6th, 7th, and 8th Congressional Districts.

His last two terms were in CD 9, which now covers south Orange County, Osceola County and eastern Polk County, and now is represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto. Soto’s campaign has been bracing for him to put up a primary challenge.

Grayson’s first term was in CD 10, now covering western Orange County and now represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings.

CD 6, now stretching from south of Jacksonville through Volusia County and into Lake County, is likely to be an open seat as Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis is running for governor.

Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Posey represents CD 8, mostly in Brevard County with a sliver of eastern Orange County.

CD 7, covering Seminole and north and central Orange counties, is now represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

CD 11, where Grayson is currently filed, covers northwestern Lake County and west-central Florida stretching to The Villages and Spring Hill and is represented by Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, who beat Grayson in the 2010 election.

Grayson’s wife Dena Grayson, who ran for Congress in CD 9 in 2016, losing the Democratic primary to Soto, also is filed as a candidate in 2018, this time in CD 8. Her campaign did not raise any money in the first quarter of 2018 and finished with about $738 in the bank.

In an unrelated campaign move, Alan Grayson’s campaign appointed his daughter Star Grayson, 19, as treasurer, according to paperwork filed this past weekend.

The Graysons are Windermere-area residents, which is in CD 10. Yet residency has never been a big concern for Alan Grayson.

“The question always is, ‘What do the voters want?’ We’re determining the voters will, and we will act accordingly,” Alan Grayson said.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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