UPDATE: Former Fla Christian Coalition leader to run again for Houseby Dara Kam | January 6th, 2010
Baxley, a conservative Republican from Ocala, served in the state House from 2000-2008 and as the executive director of the Christian Coalition until May.
The funeral director raised eyebrows prior to the presidential election when he told The Miami Herald how he and other Christians perceived then-candidate Barack Obama: “He’s pretty scary to us.”
Baxley is running for his old District 24 seat because incumbent Rep. Kurt Kelly has jumped into the race against incumbent U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a liberal Democrat who defeated a four-term incumbent Republican in his election to Congress last year.
Grayson catapulted to national fame with his tongue-in-cheek characterization of the GOP health care reform as “Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.”
Republicans are hoping to win Grayson’s seat back and the race for Congressional District 8 seat is likely to be one of the most closely watched in 2010.
“It’s a big challenge. Congressman Grayson’s become very visible and very positionable. I’m very proud that Kurt’s willing to take on that challenge to try to win that seat back for the Republicans,” Baxley said in a telephone interview this afternoon. “If he can go and accomplish something that difficult I ought to go back to work and try to help our economy again.”
Baxley said his main priority will be job creation to help the state’s out-of-work residents like the 18,000 in his district.
“We really need a primary focus on making an economic climate change for Florida,” he said.