Star Grayson eked out 20 percent of the vote in the Soil & Water District 1 race on Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough to win the election. That puts her along with her father Alan Grayson and his wife, Dena Grayson — an entire family defeated in the 2016 election.
Alan Grayson lost handily to Patrick Murphy in his run for U.S. Senate, and Murphy then lost to Marco Rubio on Tuesday night.
Dena Minning, who changed her name after marrying Grayson during the election, lost the election for the Ninth Congressional District to Darren Soto, who is now the first Puerto Rican member of Congress from Florida.
Star Grayson wasn’t yet 18 years old when she first started running for the seat, though she did turn 18 just in time for the election. Her candidacy caused some alarm and confusion from her opponents, Maria Bolton-Joubert and winner Michael Barber, who were surprised because of her young age, the fact that she came from nowhere, and her relationship to Alan Grayson.
A press release from two days before the election paints a picture of Star Grayson as a conscious millennial, an eyes-open environmental activist who wanted to take the first step towards a greener, better planet.
“More than any generation before us, millennials and post-millenials understand the peril our planet faces right now,” Star Grayson is quoted as saying in the release. “Like me, they want clean soil, water and air now, but also for future generations. I’ll advocate and implement policies that keep Orange green.”
Alan Grayson is quoted in the same press release as saying his daughter was a chip off the old block in terms of values.
“I sounded the alarm about the threat of climate change when I first ran for Congress in 2006, yet the political establishment has largely ignored it,” he said. “I’m proud that my daughter can make history as Florida’s youngest-ever elected official. But her willingness to step up and take on the local and global environmental crisis is something that I truly admire.”
Bolton-Joubert ran an aggressive campaign based on signs put up around the entire county and fervent interaction with supporters on social media. She said she found it “shocking” Star Grayson got so many votes without coming out to any meetings that Bolton-Joubert had seen.
“But that is where name recognition comes into play,” she wrote to FloridaPolitics.com. “I polled folks. Many don’t do their homework for such a low-level position either. I will keep attending the soil and water meetings as a concerned citizen, as I have been for the last nine months, and I’ll continue to attend community meetings, and I’ll continue to speak up in front of the mayor and commissioners.
“This was never a steppingstone for me, but I am genuinely concerned for our environment and our water quality issues. I’m not going away. This was a great learning experience for me, and more people are taking me seriously now, which is great.”
And despite her shock, she said she hoped to see Star Grayson at meetings in the future.