ORLANDO, Fla. -- WFTV learned on Monday that former U.S. Congressman Alan Grayson is running for office again.
On Monday, Grayson said he doesn't plan to do anything different. He said he's running again because of all the people who have reached out and asked him to. Grayson already raised nearly $100,000 in donations before filing his paperwork on Monday.
"We need somebody who's gonna stick up for what's right. Somebody with guts," Grayson said.
During Grayson's last campaign an ad referred to his opponent, Daniel Webster, as Taliban Dan. Grayson lost his District 8 Congressional seat to Webster after a highly controversial campaign. And Grayson's take on the Republican health care plan caught national attention.
"Republican plan: don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly," said Grayson on the floor of Congress..
Looking back, Grayson said he has no regrets about his campaign.
"What went wrong with my campaign, and Democratic campaigns all over the country, is that Democrats didn't vote," said Grayson.
Grayson said he's proud of his track record, from jobs, to helping Central Florida's housing crisis.
"When I started, there were 3,000 families every month losing their homes in Orange County. We got that number down to 1,500," said Grayson.
Grayson said his approach this time around depends on the circumstances, but for the sake of supporters who sent him donations before he announced he's running again, he said he has no plans to hold back.
"We're fighting for our survival. We're fighting for our jobs, our homes. We're fighting for Social Security and Medicare," said Grayson.
Grayson may not be running for his old seat with redistricting under way right now, he may end up running for a newly created seat for Orlando. It's still to early to know who he will be running against.
At least there'll be ONE actual Democrat in the House.
UPDATE: Grayson's announcement e-mail:
I’m in. I’m running for Congress.
I’m running because I promised Charlaina and Rick that I would. Charlaina called me a few weeks ago, from the hospital. She told me that her husband, Rick, was suffering from multiple organ failure – lungs, kidneys and liver.
Rick was 56 years old. That’s three years older than me.
Rick was a veteran. But the Veterans Administration wasn’t covering his hospital bills.
Rick had had a bad liver since he was 30, when he contracted hepatitis. No insurance company would go near him.
Every day Rick survived, his family owed several thousand dollars more to hospitals and doctors. And they had no way to pay it.
I told Charlaina how sorry I was. And I told her that I wasn’t in Congress anymore, so I wasn’t sure how I could help.
She said: “You can run again.”
“You are the only person who ever cared about people like us. Rick wants people in Congress who can’t be bought and sold. Rick wants you to run again.”
A dying man wants me to run for Congress. What exactly could I say?
I promised that I would run.
Rick died on June 30, 2011, at 5:55 p.m.
I’m keeping my promise. I’m in.
For the four million people in Florida who can’t see a doctor when they are sick, and the fifty million nationwide, I’m in.
For the 70% of all homeowners in Orlando who owe more than they own on their home, and the 25% nationwide who are “underwater,” and feel like they are drowning, I’m in.
For the six million Americans who haven’t worked in six months and are seeing their benefits running out, for the eight million more who are unemployed, and for the eight million on top of that who can find only part-time work, I’m in.
For the millions of parents who have absolutely no idea how to pay for a college education for their children, I’m in.
And for everyone who is appalled by the prospect that we may cut Social Security and Medicare benefits as we spend more than $150 billion a year on three unnecessary wars and almost $100 billion a year on the Bush tax cuts for the rich, I’m in.
I’m in. And I’m going to need your help. Are you in?