Former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson is shown at left. Source: Screenshot from 2022 campaign ad
Former Central Florida U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson says he is exploring a run for U.S. Senate in 2024 but that if he does run and become the Democratic party’s nominee he’ll spend tens of millions of dollars on voter registration efforts.
“The first $20 million I raise is going to be earmarked for voter registration and turnout,” Grayson told the Phoenix Friday.
Grayson filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday to create a federal political “Committee to Elect Alan Grayson.”
Even though Republicans have nearly a half-a-million voter-registration edge over the Florida Democratic Party (officially 496,150 as of May 31, according to the state’s Division of Elections), he believes that Republican incumbent Rick Scott would be vulnerable — but only if the party can register one million new voters between now and Election Day in 2024.
“Nobody actually wants to vote for Rick Scott,” Grayson said. “He doesn’t have any personal following whatsoever, with anyone. And what you need to do is to give people permission to vote against him, which is something that they want to do already.”
Grayson he will take some time before deciding whether to pursue a full-out candidacy.
While he became a national star in progressive circles for his outspoken criticism of Republicans and their policies when he served in Congress from 2009-2011 and again from 2013-2017, Grayson has lost in every Democratic primary he’s entered since then. That includes losing in a U.S. Senate race against Patrick Murphy in 2016, a congressional primary to Darren Soto in 2018, and a Democratic congressional primary last summer to Maxwell Frost.
Grayson blames the prior leadership of the Florida Democratic Party as well as its top candidates for not allocating more resources for voter registration in recent cycles.
“If we’re going to spend all of our money on attack ads, we’re going to lose,” he says. “If we’re going to spend all of our money on vanity ads, about how great our candidates are, we’re going to lose. We need to spend our money on registering people, getting out the vote, and explaining to people how their lives will be better in practical ways if they break the chokehold that Republicans now have on Florida government.”
Grayson was an attorney who became a millionaire after he started a telecom company in the 1990s.
While a handful of Democrats have entered the race, none have a very high profile. Brevard County School Board member Jennifer Jenkins told the Phoenix this week that she is still considering entering the contest.
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