Former Congressman Alan Grayson Pulls Out of U.S. Senate Race to Run for State Senate

Former Congressman Alan Grayson Pulls Out of U.S. Senate Race to Run for State Senate

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
June 11, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Former three-term Congressman Alan Grayson, a Democrat, dropped out of the U.S. Senate race on Friday where he planned to challenge incumbent Republican Rick Scott. Now, he's setting his sights on a state race—Senate District 25.

Grayson was among four other Democrats who qualified for the national race, including former one-term Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and rocket scientist Stanley Campbell. After he qualified, he told The Floridian he planned to register four million Democrats before the race while touting his prevalent name ID against his same-party competitors.

Friday he dropped out.

But on Monday, he filed the first paperwork to throw his hat in the ring for the newly vacant SD 25 seat, previously occupied by the termed-out Democratic Sen. Victor Torres, and has until this Friday—June 14th—to qualify to run.

"Our chances are excellent because that's what people want: people want Alan Grayson representing that area in central Florida," Grayson told The Floridian, explaining that his former congressional district fully encompasses the Senate district he hopes to represent.

Grayson, independently wealthy with strong progressive roots, will face off against former state Rep. Kristen Arrington and Sen. Torres' wife Carmen Torres for the Democratic nomination on August 20th. Despite Arrington's popularity and Torres' connections to the former Senator, Grayson remains confident he will be the nominee.

"We've done some polling, and I'm not going to get into details, but the polling confirms that that's what people want," he said, before turning to Arrington's ties to the Florida Capitol, stating, "I know I have better name ID than her."

He explained that residents of the Central Florida district "want from our campaign what they don't see from other people, which is to get good things done." He stressed that during his six years in Congress, he passed 121 laws in four years, pushed for $50 million more for Osceola schools, and helped block foreclosures after nearly 50,000 homes were taken following the 2008 housing market crash.

"We're going to win because I'm going to explain to people what I've already done for their benefit, and what I'm going to do. In my case, they can count on it," he added.

So...why drop out of the national race?

"We weren't able to raise the kind of resources to execute our plan that seemed necessary to win," Grayson explained, referring to a previous conversation with The Floridian in which he revealed his plan to register millions of unregistered Democrats to beat multi-millionaire Rick Scott in the trending-red state.

"We weren't able to raise the resources that were needed to do that, so there was no way forward that would result in a win," he added.

Turning to finances, Grayson wouldn't get into specifics on how much he planned to raise for his newly announced campaign. However, he did mention that all Alan Grayson campaigns undertaken since 2006 had amassed "a total of $17 million from other people."

Arrington, meanwhile, has nearly $148,000 in cash on hand, while Torres has yet to file her campaign finance reports.

The Democratic nominee will face off against either school board member Jon Arguello or businessman Jose Martinez—the two Republican contenders for the seat. If Republicans take SD 25, it would be a major loss for Democrats, who only hold 12 out of the 40 Senate seats in the Florida Legislature.

The general election is on November 5th.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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