3 things to know about Florida's 9th Congressional District race

2018 election pits incumbent Soto against previous seat holder Grayson


Florida's 9th Congressional District seat is up for election in November and the race promises to be interesting with the incumbent Rep. Darren Soto challenged by a previous seat holder, Alan Grayson.

All U.S. congressional district seats are up for election this year. Candidates have until Friday to file to run.

Whose running?

In the primary, incumbent Darren Soto will face the former 9th Congressional District seat holder Alan Grayson, both Democrats.

On the Republican ticket, Wayne Liebnitzky is back running again for the seat, after losing to Soto in 2016. Sean Buchan is also a Republican contender.

Similar names and faces
Grayson said this week he is running for his old seat after a failed Senate run two years ago.

Alan Grayson’s wife, Dena Grayson, ran in 2016 for the 9th Congressional District seat, but did not make it to the November ballot.

Alan Grayson is now running for the same seat he held from 2012-2015, because he said the polls are in his favor.

“We’re professional about this,” Grayson told News 6. “The polling indicates we’re in an extremely strong position in my old district. There were other opportunities (districts), but the numbers were extremely strong.”

The Orlando Political Observer cited a web poll that gave Grayson more than 60 percent of the vote over incumbent Soto.

Grayson ran and lost for a Florida Senate seat to Patrick Murphy in 2016.

District 9 voting history

Florida District 9 voters have leaned toward Democratic candidates, voting for five Democrats and three Republicans since 1963.

The 9th Congressional District Includes part of east Orange County and Osceola County, including Kissimmee. It's population is largely Hispanic and white, with almost 50 percent identified as Hispanic, according to Ballotpedia.org, an online encyclopedia of U.S. elections.

Before a 2011 re-districting, District 9 also included rural eastern Hillsborough County, northern Pinellas County and the Gulf coast of Pasco County.

The primary election is Aug. 28. In Florida, voters must be registered with a party to vote in the primary election.

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