Who will be the GOP pick to take on Grayson in House race?

The Republicans have not approached Grayson’s fundraising success. Quiñones, for example, reported $155,000 in donations for the same period, and Melendez’s campaign said he raised $90,000. But in 2010, Grayson lost his seat in Congress despite a huge financial advantage.

Aubrey Jewett, an associate professor of political science at UCF, said the Hispanic population, because it skews Democratic, is unlikely to have a major impact in determining the GOP candidate but could prove crucial to choosing the eventual winner.

“While the district overall is over 40 percent Hispanic, that doesn’t mean the Republican electorate in this primary is,” he said. “I think, in general, if one of the Hispanic candidates gets through, they will present the biggest challenge to Grayson. Usually, ethnicity and race wins out over partisanship in a lot of voters’ minds.”

Quiňones could be in position to benefit from that dynamic. An attorney whose practice focuses on mediation, he’s familiar to Osceola voters, and part of the district overlaps with areas he represented in the state House beginning in 2002 and on the County Commission since 2007.

During forums and debates sponsored by Republican organizations, he has been touting his “record of leadership” in both offices.

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