Longtime legislator Dan Webster wins in anti-Grayson primary, tea party vows to rally behind him
Dan Webster has won in the Republican primary deciding which candidate will face off against Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, come November, earning 40 percent of the vote in a crowded field. Webster served 28 years in the Florida legislature, 20 as a state representative and eight as a state Senator, a history that put him at odds with opponents who were calling for a sharp change in political leadership in the state.
“I’m not going to run from the fact that I was in the legislature for 28 years,” Webster told The Florida Independent at his victory party, held at Central Florida Christian Academy. He emphasized his commitment to faith and family, and dismissed Grayson’s considerable fundraising advantage: “I’ve never lost an election, and I don’t plan to lose this one.”
Tea party activists made an appearance at Webster’s party. Tom Tillison, a tea party radio host, told TFI that despite the Republican infighting in the primary, his organization’s goal is simple: “defeat alan grayson.”
He plans to issue an endorsement notice for Webster tomorrow, and wants to unify the often-fractured Central Florida conservative grassroots movement behind him. “Even though he’s got a long history in politics,” Tillison said. “He’s just an average, everyday guy.”