The Rev. Terence Gray of Orlando is announcing his candidacy as a Democrat running for Florida’s 10th Congressional District, opening as Rep. Val Demings runs for the U.S. Senate.
Gray, the senior pastor at St. Mark AME Church in Orlando, joins five other Democrats and three Republicans running in CD 10 to represent western Orange County. The seat is being vacated because Democrat Demings opted out of reelection for the Senate.
“I’m running for Congress to listen to and deliver for the people of this district,” Gray said in a news release announcing his candidacy. “I’ll fight for the resources we deserve, including adequate broadband, SBA loans that will allow our businesses, neighborhoods and families to get ahead, and quality affordable healthcare. Pastors are known for talking a lot, but I’ve discovered the best way to serve people is by listening to them — and that’s exactly what I plan to do.”
He joins a field that already includes three formidable Democrats in a district with a strong Democratic electorate: state Sen. Randolph Bracy of Ocoee, former State Attorney Aramis Ayala of Windermere, and civil rights lawyer Natalie Jackson of Orlando.
Also running are Democrats Teresa Tachon of Orlando and Jack Joseph Achenbach of Orlando, Republicans Carter Morgan of Orlando, Willie Montague of Orlando, and Angela Walls-Windhauser of Winter Garden.
Earlier this week, Jackson was the first CD 10 candidate to announce her campaign fundraising. She picked up $51,000 in about five weeks after starting her campaign.
Gray has served as senior pastor at St. Mark AME Church for 15 years. While there, he worked to increase the day care and educational assistance to children and families, according to the news release. During the past year, he worked with state and local governments to provide COVID-19 testing and vaccinations for vulnerable populations, especially seniors.
Before his service at Saint Mark, Gray served as pastor at Saint Paul AME Church in Macon, Georgia, for two decades.