Carl Domino Wins GOP Nomination to Challenge Patrick Murphy
Around the State
After losses in state legislative primaries in 2010 and 2012, former state Rep. Carl Domino won the Republican primary to take on U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., in November.
“I am so grateful to the people,” Domino noted on Tuesday night. “I cannot thank you enough"
Domino promised an aggressive campaign, insisting Murphy “can run but he can't hide.”
With almost 99 percent of the vote in, Domino took 38.4 percent followed by former Connecticut state Rep. Alan Schlesinger, best known as the Republican nominee who challenged U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., in 2006, with 24.1 percent. Nurse and conservative activist Beverly Hires took third with 14 percent followed by businessman Brian Lara with 13 percent. Former Tequesta Councilman Calvin Turnquest garnered 6.7 percent followed by businessman Nick Wukoson with 3.9 percent.
Despite Murphy beating then-U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., by a narrow margin in 2012, the Democrat starts off the general election as the favorite over Domino, something the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) crowed about on Tuesday night.
“Rep. Patrick Murphy has distinguished himself for his independence, results-oriented approach to cutting Washington’s wasteful spending, and relentless focus on the local issues that matter most to his constituents,” the DCCC wrote in a memo sent out on Tuesday night. “The appeal of his agenda – coupled with his fundraising dominance – has led to one of the Republican’s greatest recruitment failures of the cycle.
“After suffering through a divisive intra-party fight, Republicans are now left with Carl Domino, a Tallahassee politician with a record of prioritizing himself and his special-interest backers over Florida’s families,” the DCCC continued. “Domino’s flaws are already coming to light: he was exposed for plagiarizing his ‘plan’ to fix Congress, claimed he didn’t know if he was pro-choice or pro-life (while running TV ads attacking women’s health care choices) and has only posted weak fundraising numbers. Coupled with his failure to garner even 50 percent of the primary vote after dramatically outspending his opponents, signs are clear that even Republicans aren’t excited about Domino’s campaign.
“The Cook and Rothenberg Political Reports recently moved this race to favor Murphy, although we fully expect the same kind of shadowy special interests that Domino looked out for in Tallahassee will do all they can to prop him up in the fall,” the DCCC concluded.
Noting that former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., beat President Barack Obama by 4 percent in the district back in the 2012 presidential race, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) fired back, insisting Domino had a strong chance of beating Murphy.
“Congressman Patrick Murphy has been a top target of both local and national Republicans since being elected in 2012,” the NRCC insisted in a memo sent out on Tuesday night. “While Murphy has been forced to walk the line with his voting record, Florida families won’t be able to overlook his vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House and his vote to keep Obamacare the law of the land.
“With the primary election of Carl Domino, Republicans go into the final months of the campaign with a strong competitor who will force Murphy to spend his millions and will ultimately flip the seat back into the GOP’s hands,” the NRCC added.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN