State Rep. John Cortes of Kissimmee has endorsed state Sen. Darren Soto in his bid to seek the Democratic nomination to run for Congress in Congressional District 9, which includes Kissimmee.

Cortes’s house district is largely contained within Soto’s Senate district, and in CD 9.

“Darren Soto is exactly the kind of representative Central Florida deserves,” Cortes stated in a news release issued by the Soto campaign. “He understands our community and fights every day to protect our people, our environment, and grow our local economy. ¡Voto por Soto!”

Soto is in a Democratic battle with Susannah Randolph, former state Rep. Ricardo Rangel (whom Cortes beat in a primary in the 2014 election cycle,) Dr. Dena Minning and Valleri Crabtree.

They all seek to replace incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando, who is running for the U.S. Senate rather than for re-election.

CD 9 is considered a safe district for Democrats.

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 Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused.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