Saying he is not a “career politician,” two-term Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy announced Monday he will run in 2016 for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Marco Rubio.
The announcement sets the stage for a big-money, high-profile Senate race next year — whether Rubio seeks re-election or decides instead to run for president.
Murphy, 31, toppled Republican Congressman Allen West, a tea-party favorite, in 2012 before easily defeating former state Rep. Carl Domino in 2014. Murphy’s campaign said Monday that he raised more than $11 million for the two campaigns, hinting at his ability to pull in the massive amounts of cash that would be needed to win a U.S. Senate seat.
In the announcement, Murphy presented himself as a businessman who would be an “independent voice for Florida.” Murphy, who lives in Jupiter, represents a congressional district that includes St. Lucie and Martin counties and northern Palm Beach County.
“I’m a CPA and small businessman — not a career politician — who saw the dysfunction in Washington and decided to do something about it,” Murphy said. “I’m running for the U.S. Senate for the same reason I ran for Congress in 2012 — Washington is full of hyper-partisan politicians who can’t, or won’t, get anything done, and Florida deserves better. I’m a consensus-builder who is working to boost the economy by cutting waste in government, raise the minimum wage, strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and protect the Everglades.”
Rubio has not announced his plans for 2016, though he is widely perceived to be taking steps toward running for president. He has indicated he will not run for re-election to the Senate if he launches a bid for president.
Even if Rubio does not run for re-election, Republicans are certain to wage a massive effort to keep the Senate seat. Potential GOP candidates include state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, former state House Speaker Will Weatherford, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan.
Murphy’s announcement came after two of the state’s most-prominent Democrats — former Gov. Charlie Crist and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz — said last week they would not run for the Senate seat. Murphy, however, could face a primary challenge from the left, as U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson could get into the race.
But in the announcement, Murphy only mentioned Rubio by name.
“For years, Senator Rubio has put the needs of Floridians behind his presidential ambitions,” Murphy said. “We need a leader in the Senate whose eyes are firmly fixed on the people of Florida by working together to get things done.”
–Jim Saunders, News Service of Florida
Would it be too much to ask for a congressman who would like to and will work for the people? And get paid?
Anyone look at Rubio’s congressional voting record lately? Almost no participation! Why do we keep voting and then paying these guys for doing nothing but obstruct the ‘people’s business’? That zoo up there is nothing more than a rich guy’s playground and country club.
How about a, “no vote, no pay!” referendum?
Nalla C. says
Considering Murphy votes with Republicans a lot, he will probably win. That does Democrats no good, however.
. It’s bad enough the Tea Party screwed up the Right. These neo-conservative Democrats are doing their level best to screw up the Left.
Finally someone to vote for…Patrick you got our votes! Good luck and run a great campaign!
West 2016 says
Oh boy…Vote for this “QUACKER” if you want more welfare dependence and legalize marijuana. Vote for this “QUACKER” if you a progressive “bottom feeding” socialist. Vote for this “QUACKER” if you want you children to be told what to EAT, WEAR, WATCH, LEARN !!!!!
Nalla C. says
West 2016, you clearly haven’t read Mr. Murphy’s voting record–he votes with Republicans quite a bit. Can you be more specific as to exactly what bills/votes you’re talking about?
I’m no Murphy fan, but let’s try not to overdo the namecalling motif. It helps no one..
Sherry Epley says
I agree Nalla. . . it seems all too often that “name calling” is the purview of those who can’t seem to come up with any specific facts to support their point of view. I, too, am looking for intelligent discourse and meaningful discussion.
Patrick Murphy was a bad choice, brought to you by the freeloaders of USSA
Nalla C. says
Lancer, can you please be more specific as to what your beef with him is? Again, Patrick Murphy votes with Republicans on A LOT of issues.
Nalla C. says
Flagler Live, if you’re going to refuse to run comments because of “name calling”, can you please be consistent? The kind of discourse posted by “Lancer” (above) helps NO ONE and it is the second time this week it’s been specifically pointed out.
Nalla, name-calling is defined here as attacking fellow-commenters, not making general comments. Lancer’s comment about “freeloaders” may be inaccurate and misinformed and terribly silly, but he’s not taking anyone to task the way, say, you called Hillary Clinton a fake and a phony, though that’s fair comment too.
The choice between West and Murphy is simple: West. West was by far the better, more qualified candidate. The left spent a great deal of time, money and resources to defeat West. Welcome to politics.
During the campaign, they did not tout Murphy’s credentials, they constantly vilified West. Murphy doesn’t have the name recognition or the left’s confidence to win the Senate.