Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry.

To Replace Grayson in the House . . .

"The race to succeed Rep. Alan Grayson in the U.S. House has drawn five Democrats looking to capture what some analysts consider a safe seat for their party."

But not everyone thinks that the district is as securely Democratic as it once was. New boundaries were drawn after redistricting, adding 25,000 new Republican voters at the expense of independents and Democrats.
"Democrats running to succeed Grayson, who is running for U.S. Senate, include a state senator, Darren Soto; Grayson's former district manager, Susannah Randolph; a former Osceola Democratic chair, Valleri Crabtree; technology consultant Jason Borders; and a biochemist, Dena Minning, who is Grayson's fiancée."
Two candidates have entered the race on the Republican side, including businessman Wayne Liebnitzky and Kissimmee Vice Mayor Wanda Rentas.

They're all battling to represent a district that changed less dramatically than others after the state Supreme Court ordered new boundaries late last year. But there were a few significant changes nonetheless.

"Crowded field looks to succeed Grayson in House."

FlaGOP afraid of Jebbie

"State Sen. Don Gaetz sees his legislation allowing school districts to replace state exams with national alternatives like the SAT or ACT as the salvation of the education accountability policies crafted by former Gov. Jeb Bush." "Citing Bush, Gaetz offers alternative-testing post-mortem."

"What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

Marc Caputo: "Run, Marco! (for Senate) – Canova: close to $2m raised against Wasserman Schultz – State police raid DeBary City Hall – Libertarian conference." "Florida Playbook."

The Other Grayson

"One of Dena Minning’s biggest assets in her congressional bid was her boyfriend: incumbent Alan Grayson, who’s leaving the U.S. House to run for U.S. Senate."

Now, after Grayson has helped raise her profile and run for his U.S. House seat, he married her over the Memorial Day Weekend and gave her his last name, according to her Monday social-media posts and The Orlando Political Observer.

Dena Minning promptly became Dena Grayson on Twitter and Facebook. The largely unknown outsider in the Orlando-area district now has a potent tool in running under the name of the incumbent in a crowded Democratic primary. . . .

The Grayson wedding adds more drama to the 9th Congressional District race, in which Grayson’s former aide and political hand, Susannah Randolph, had been laying the groundwork for the seat. But then she learned last year that her boss’s girlfriend wanted to run and that he would back her.

"Alan Grayson marries candidate who wants to replace him."