State Sen. Darren Soto has received the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela of Texas for Soto’s run to win the Democratic nomination for Congress in Orlando-based Congressional District 9.

Vela, who represents the far southern tip of Texas, bordering Mexico, cited Soto’s support for the DREAMers program, supporting young, undocumented immigrants.

In a news release issued by the Soto campaign, Vela praised Soto “as a strong record of advocating for immigrant rights and bringing jobs to his district.

“Darren is a fighter who knows how to work with all sides to get things done,” Vela stated in a news release issued by the Soto campaign. “His work allowing DREAMers to pay in-state tuition in Florida colleges and universities, as well as giving DREAMers an opportunity to be admitted to the Florida Bar is impressive, especially with a Republican dominated legislature.”

Soto seeks to replace U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson in CD 9, as Grayson is running for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat rather than for re-election in the Democratic-leaning district. A Democratic primary fight is underway between Soto, Susannah Randolph, Valleri Crabtree, Dr. Dena Minning and former state Rep. Ricardo Rangel.

About The Author

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 Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused.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

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