Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando made what’s likely to be his swan song appearance for now before Orange County Democrats Saturday, thanking them for backing him so he could “do so much good for so many people.”
Grayson sought the state Democratic nomination to run for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat but lost, and so he did not seek re-election this year to a fourth term. That opened the door to Darren Soto, who won in Florida’s 9th Congressional District. Restricting gave Florida’s 10th Congressional District a strong Democratic voter base, and Val Demings won there. And Stephanie Murphy upset Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. John Mica in Florida’s 6th Congressional District.
Those three districts split Orlando.
“It’s hard to believe I stand before you as the only Orange County Democrat to represent downtown Orlando in the last 42 years. But that changes a month from today when we have three, count them, three, Orange County Democrats in Congress,” Grayson said. “And I want to give credit where credit is due, and that is you all. We have gone through a very difficult time, wandering for 40 years through the desert here. But now we’ve reached the point with organization, teamwork, registrations, absentee ballot requests, and the legwork we all do … have led to the point where we finally are fully represented in the House of Representatives by Democrats.”
“But now we’ve reached the point with organization, teamwork, registrations, absentee ballot requests, and the legwork we all do … have led to the point where we finally are fully represented in the House of Representatives by Democrats.”
Despite his loss – and his wife Dena Grayson‘s loss to Soto in the CD 9 Democratic primary, he has not ruled out a return to politics, and his appearance Saturday included no suggestion that he was going away.
Grayson took a moment to highlight his career, notably that he passed 120 amendments or bills in his six years in Congress, 2008-10 and 2012-16. That was capped Friday with the passages of two more amendments, getting health-care-quality and substance-abuse counseling measures for veterans and service members into the $611.2 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which the House approved Friday.
Grayson noted that most of his successes came when Republicans controlled Congress.
“It turns out you can shame them into any good idea you want when you have might and right on your side,” he said.