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Alan Grayson blasts Patrick Murphy in announcing his candidacy for U.S. Senate

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Alan Grayson is running for the U.S. Senate.

“This is going to be the first real political race of the 21st Century,” said the Orlando Democratic congressman as he made the announcement this morning during a televised interview with WKMG-TV, the CBS affiliate in Orlando.

He compared its national appeal to Elizabeth Warren‘s successful run for the Senate in Massachusetts in 2012.  “It’s going to be famous. What people see of us doing in this race is going to live until the end of time. This is going to be the first race, the first real political race of the 21st century,” Grayson said.

Grayson talked about shoring up Social Security and Medicare and making sure that paid sick leave is available for everyone.

The other major Democrat in the race, Jupiter U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, released a statement shortly after Grayson’s announcement in which he said, “I look forward to a clean, honest discussion of the issues in this primary.”

That’s not going to happen.

“His campaign has already failed,” Grayson said when asked about Murphy. “People understand what I stand for. Patrick wants to cut Social Security, cut Medicare, and Patrick gave $2,300 to Mitt Romney’s campaign. Patrick’s running in the wrong primary. He should be running as a Republican, because that’s who he really is.”

Grayson said that he’s leading the polls by 40 percentage points.

A Quinnipiac poll taken last month shows both Grayson and Murphy leading Republicans Ron DeSantis and potential candidate Carlos Lopez-Cantera in prospective one-on-one match-ups, but did not include a direct match-up between the two Democratic candidates.  A Public Policy Polling survey taken in May showed Grayson with 22 percent support and Murphy at 21 percent.

In the interview Grayson showed that he’s not about to start cleaning up his shoot-from-the-hip style now that he’s running for the U.S. Senate. When asked his reaction to attorney John Morgan‘s comment that Grayson can’t win a statewide race, the Orlando firebrand retorted. “I think John should lay off the scotch, at least until noon.”

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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