In his two tenures as a progressive bulldog in the U.S. House of Representatives Alan Grayson made a few high-profile friends and now he’s featuring them in a new TV commercial, the first in the Democratic primary battle for Florida’s 9th Congressional District.
The new ad “Progressive Warrior,” which begins airing Wednesday in the Orlando TV market, features actor Martin Sheen, documentary movie maker Michael Moore, and political commentators Chris Hayes and Ed Schultz, among others, extolling Grayson for courage, leadership, and effectiveness in Congress.
“Alan Grayson is undoubtedly, the progressive warrior,” Schultz declares from some past broadcast of his MSNBC show, as pictures of Grayson and short clips of video roll out.
Grayson is battling with Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Darren Soto of Orlando, who took the CD 9 seat in 2016, defeating Grayson’s wife Dena Grayson in the Democratic primary as Alan Grayson was losing the Democratic primary for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat held by Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. This year’s August 28 Democratic primary winner takes on Republican Wayne Liebnitzky of Saint Cloud in November.
CD 9 covers Osceola County, east Polk County, and south Orange County.
The Grayson campaign did not provide details for how much it is spending or how long or how often the spot will air. Early filings with the Federal Communication Commission show that the campaign has paid $1,334 to reserve 39 spots on WESH TV Channel 4 in Orlando through the end of May. Wednesday morning there were not yet any contracts posted on the FCC site involving other TV stations.
“People have told me, over and over again, that I’m saying what they’re thinking but nobody else is saying,” the Grayson says at one point in the commercial.
That’s followed by Sheen, the liberal activist actor who played the president in the “West Wing” series in the 2000s, saying, “We need that kid of courage and leadership.”
Moore, the liberal activist film producer, then offers, “Stands up for what he believes in, stands up for the rest of us, isn’t afraid to speak his mind.”
Grayson also makes, in the 30-second spot, his frequent statement that he has passed more legislation, largely through amendments, than any other member of Congress. A news release announcing the commercial states he passed 121 pieces of legislation in four years, under Republican leadership.