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ORLANDO, Florida-- In his single term in office, former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson became one of the most vocal partisans on Capitol Hill.

The Orlando Democrat described the Republican health care plan as hoping people "die quickly," and he called a Federal Reserve Bank adviser a "K Street whore."

Two years after he lost his 2010 re-election bid by 18 percentage points, Grayson is running again in a newly created district that was formed out of large chunks of his former district.

"Sometimes when you lose, nobody hears from you again," Grayson said in a recent interview. "This will be the comeback story of the year, if we win. And right now, it looks very much like we will."

New district

Grayson is running in a district that was drawn so that Hispanics make up more than 40 percent of the district.

Neither major-party candidate in the District 9 race is Hispanic, even though the district was drawn to capture the large numbers of Puerto Ricans who have moved to metro Orlando in the past decade.

An expected Hispanic GOP opponent was defeated by attorney Todd Long in last August's primary.

Long, a tea party favorite, hasn't gotten much support from the national GOP.

"I'm not a political establishment guy. I'm a regular guy," said Long, who previously had a strong but ultimately unsuccessful primary run to be the GOP nominee in the then-District 8 congressional race in 2008.

Funding edge

Long is considered a long shot in the race because Grayson has raised 33 times more money than he has, and also because of the party makeup of the district - 42 percent are Democrats and 27 percent are Republicans.

"My job is to give people an alternative," Long said. "I'm not responsible for the outcome. I'm responsible for the fight."

Even though Grayson has raised $4.3 million to Long's $83,000 as of the end of September, the Democrat has been aggressive in his advertising. Television ads accuse Long of wanting to raise the age of qualifying for Social Security and supporting Medicare cuts. In a video on his Web site, Long calls those charges "lies."

Long's positions on those government programs are no different than the top of his party's ticket.

If elected, Long says the first bill he would introduce would restructure the nation's tax structure to eliminate almost all current taxes, replacing them with a national sales tax.

Grayson's biggest fear isn't Long, who is struggling to raise money for television advertisements in the last weeks of the campaign.

It is advertising from conservative third-party groups, including the American Action Network, an outfit headed by former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota.

Grayson put in $220,000 of his own money into the campaign to ensure that he would have ammo to fight back.

"I personally wanted to make sure that we didn't get outspent by some crazy billionaire who wanted to interfere in local, central Florida politics," said Grayson, whose personal wealth comes from an earlier career as a trial attorney. "I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is to make sure that doesn't happen. So we have matched and we will match whatever expenditures they want to throw at us."

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