A new campaign ad from U.S. Rep. Darren Soto promises a positive tone — while subtly undercutting his primary’s bombastic reputation.
Soto, an Orlando Democrat seeking election to a second term in Congress, promotes himself as an alternative to divisive politics.
“You know, Washington, D.C. is full of politicians who like to bully and shout,” Soto says in the video spot. “That’s not me. I’m in public service to get real results for you.”
The message gets juxtaposed over video of President Donald Trump, but also serves to differentiate Soto from Alan Grayson, his predecessor in representing Florida’s 9th Congressional District and his opponent in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary.
Grayson, who built a national following among progressives during the aughts for saying then-Vice President Dick Cheney had “blood that drips from his teeth” and asserting the Republican health care plan was “Don’t get sick,” and if you do, “die quickly,” fits the “bully and shout” profile as easily as Trump.
Soto won Grayson’s old seat in 2016 after the incumbent pursued an unsuccessful Senate bid that year. And Soto beat Grayson’s wife Dena in the Democratic primary that year on his way to Washington. Now Grayson wants his old job back.
Soto’s new ad banks on the hope voters want a less bombastic representative. He touts his record on health care and also appeals to Puerto Rican voters, of whom many moved to the Orlando area after Hurricane Maria savaged the island last year.
In the ad, Soto says he was hired “to help countless families in Central Florida and Puerto Rico to recover from hurricane storm damage.”
Watch the ad below: