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Darren Soto Enters Race For Grayson’s Seat

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Darren Soto. Image via twitter

Darren Soto. Image via twitter

The Democratic primary for Alan Grayson’s seat in Congress could become one of the toughest political battles in Central Florida.

State Senator Darren Soto enters a race today that’s dividing party loyalties.

Darren Soto, who is of Puerto Rican and Italian descent, will run in a strongly Hispanic district, a seat currently held by Alan Grayson.

His primary opponents include former state Rep Ricardo Rangel, former Osceola Democratic Executive Committee chair Valleri Crabtree and Susannah Randolph- Grayson’s former district director.

Political commentator Frank Torres said people in the Democratic party are already taking sides.

“This could create a civil war among Democrats in the area,” said Torres.

“I think you’re going to see the Hispanic community rallying around Darren Soto and former State Rep. Ricardo Rangel. And then I think you’re going to see a lot of the establishment types and a lot of the big whale donors rally behind Susannah Randolph,” he said.

“All have experience, all are very good on the stump, all know the issues, and all know exactly what it takes to win a Democratic primary like this,” said Torres.

“It’s going to be arguably the toughest fight that you’re going to see in Central Florida politics over the next year.”

Soto says he’ll campaign for comprehensive immigration reform, protecting Social Security and Medicare, and protecting the environment.

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »