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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

It was a very bad Tuesday for U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson (w/video)

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson speaks in Tallahassee on Oct. 14.

[Associated Press (2015)]

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson speaks in Tallahassee on Oct. 14.



For U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, who’s no stranger to controversy, Tuesday was likely among the toughest 24 hours of his political career.

Allegations of repeated domestic abuse, reported by Politico, made waves among Democrats. Two progressive groups that ardently supported Grayson rescinded their endorsements. An altercation with a reporter at the Democratic National Convention, caught on video, went viral.


Now Democrats are weighing in on the charges that the congressman and U.S. Senate candidate hit his ex-wife.

“I was as surprised as anyone else,” said Allison Tant, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party.

One of his opponents in the Senate race, Miami labor attorney Pam Keith said that progressives flocking away from Grayson — including the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America, which pulled their endorsements — should support her.

“If there is truth to this, that it makes him unfit for office, and a person who had a pattern of physical abuse against another demonstrates values so anathema to the Democratic Party values that it would be utterly inappropriate for him to stand as a Democratic standard bearer,” she said.

All this comes on the heels of Times/Herald reports last week that a computer glitch caused Grayson to report incorrect campaign finance data to the Federal Election Commission for the second time this cycle and that he used video of Al Sharpton, who has not endorsed him, in a campaign ad.

It’s not clear what impact the alleged abuse will have on the Aug. 30 Senate primary in which Grayson, D-Orlando, faces Keith and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter. Millions of mail-in ballots were sent out this week.

Yet controversy has followed Grayson throughout his congressional career — and he’s survived it all.

The Office of Congressional Ethics said he may have violated congressional ethics rules or federal law in the management of his personal hedge funds.

A rancorous divorce with ex-wife Lolita Grayson led to both parties’ names being publicly dragged through the mud. 

Domestic violence allegations have been brought to light before. In 2014, Lolita Grayson told police that Alan Grayson shoved her during an argument, leading to bruising. The Orange County Sheriff's Office declined to pursue the case.

Times staff writer Alex Leary contributed to this post.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 1:18pm]


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