Alan Grayson is resorting to desperate measures in his latest bid to slither back into Congress, recycling old endorsements from past campaigns in his primary challenge against Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) for Florida’s Ninth Congressional District.
Grayson has popped in and out of Congress twice in the past decade, from two different districts. He gave up his seat in 2016 in an unsuccessful attempt to challenge Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), losing by a significant margin (58.9% to 17.7%) in the primary to Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL), who would go on to lose to Rubio in the general election.
Grayson wanted his then-girlfriend, now-wife Dena Grayson to succeed him in his congressional seat, but the voters of the ninth district were unswayed and voiced their preference for Soto, who had represented the area in the Florida Legislature for years.
Democrat leaders and elected officials around the state seem to have the same strong preference for Soto over Grayson. Soto’s website features a long list of endorsements, including former Vice President Joe Biden, the Florida Young Democrats, all ten of the Democratic members of Florida’s congressional delegation, twenty other local elected Democrats in the district, and the usual list of liberal groups like Planned Parenthood’s PAC, police and firefighter unions, etc.
Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has praised Grayson’s scorched-earth style of liberal firebrand politics in the past, told reporters that she did not support Grayson challenging Soto for his seat.
So, unable to find any friends this year, Grayson is exhuming zombie endorsements from years ago. As reported by Brad Slager at Sunshine State News, Grayson has released a television ad with clips of celebrities like actor Martin Sheen, filmmakers Michael Moore and Oliver Stone, and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Ed Schultz singing his praises.
As Slager notes, all of these comments are from years ago: Schultz left MSNBC three years ago, the Sheen quote is from 2014, and Moore and Stone’s comments are from 2010.
“There is a question of propriety here, as these ‘endorsements’ were made so long ago, in other election races and against other candidates. Grayson sees no problem, of course,” wrote Slager.
No surprise there. Grayson has a well-established history of courting controversy in both his political and personal lives, and has not felt constrained by logic or facts when attacking an opponent, that outrageously false “Taliban Dan” ad against Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) being just one example.
Reached for comment, Soto remained unfazed by Grayson’s recycled zombie endorsements.
“We are racking up multiple major endorsements for the 2018 Democratic Primary as we continue to seize the momentum,” said Soto. “This race is not about the past. It’s about our future!”
The primary election for Florida’s congressional races will be on August 28.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.
[Cross-posted at The Capitolist.]