U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-7) is set to announce a run for U.S. Senate against sitting Sen. Marco Rubio in 2022, according to a report by Axios. Murphy is the first major challenger to join the Senate race and has a reputation for being a proven fundraiser, providing a challenge for Rubio’s team.
Murphy has a history of separating herself from the larger Democratic Party and provides potential crossover appeal to moderate voters. She and her family fled communist Vietnam when she was a child, and refers to herself as a “proud capitalist,” and has given indicators she may be opposed to possible tax increases floated by President Joe Biden’s administration.
However, her team is refuting the upcoming announcement claim being reported by Axios.
“Rep. Murphy has not made a decision on whether to run for the U.S. Senate,” said Lauren Calmet, a campaign spokesperson.
Back in February, Murphy hinted at the idea of running by launching a “listening tour” to hear voter concerns.
The Senate race is of high importance for both major political parties. Republicans are looking to maintain a Senate seat during the 2022 midterms, which historically sees the out-of-power party gain momentum. Democrats will try to maintain their slim seat lead in the Senate with a successful Murphy bid but are nervous about the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature who will be re-districting Congressional House seats, knowing Murphy would be leaving her House seat.
Murphy has previously referred to Rubio as a career politician and Floridians deserve a better option in the Senate.
“[Rubio] has used the Senate as a stepping stone for his political ambitions as opposed to serving the people of Florida,” Murphy said. “And I happen to believe that the people of Florida deserve a senator, at least one, who is more focused on what their issues are at their kitchen tables than on their next political position.”
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