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Politics

Patrick Murphy Off and Running for Marco Rubio's Senate Seat in 2016

March 22, 2015 - 7:00pm

U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., announced on Monday that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in 2016.

Ive spent the last several months considering the best way I can continue to serve the people of Florida, and today, after much thought and discussion with people from across this state, Im proud to announce that I will be a candidate for the United States Senate in 2016, Murphy said on Monday morning.

First elected to Congress by a narrow margin over then-U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., in 2012, Murphy made a name for himself as a moderate who often broke with the House Democrats and the Obama administration during his two terms in Washington. Murphy looked to claim the middle ground on Monday in his Senate announcement.

Im a CPA and small-business man not a career politician who saw the dysfunction in Washington and decided to do something about it, Murphy said. Im running for the U.S. Senate for the same reason I ran for Congress in 2012 Washington is full of hyper-partisan politicians who cant, or wont, get anything done, and Florida deserves better. Im 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. Ive done all of this by being an independent voice for Florida, and thats what the Senate needs more of right now.

While Rubio is expected to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and not for a second term in the Senate, Murphy covered his bases by jabbing the incumbent senator.

For years, Sen. Rubio has put the needs of Floridians behind his presidential ambitions, Murphy insisted. We need a leader in the Senate whose eyes are firmly fixed on the people of Florida by working together to get things done. In the coming months, I look forward to meeting Floridians across the state to listen, earn their trust, and ask for their support.

Murphy is not the only Democrat looking at running for the Senate seat. While former Gov. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), announced last week they would not run, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., has left the door open to a Senate bid in 2016.

The National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC) welcomed Murphy to the race with a new website attacking him and mocking his youth and experience.

Patrick Murphy is an overly ambitious Washington politician who needs to grow up and the United States Senate doesnt have a kids table, said Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for the NRSC, on Monday. No matter how much money Murphys dad pours into the race, were confident Floridians will reject his candidacy because of his fierce support for Obamacare which cuts $716 billion from Medicare.

State CFO Jeff Atwater, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., are possible Republican candidates if Rubio does not run for a second term.


Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

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