Patrick Murphy – Florida Politics

Gwen Graham walks back comments about possible David Jolly lieutenant governor pick

Democrat Gwen Graham now says she’s committed to picking a Democrat as her lieutenant governor, after previously saying she was open to selecting former Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly for the role.

An earlier report from POLITICO Florida’s Marc Caputo highlighted Graham’s comments on Jolly to the Miami-based “Strange Days” podcast.  Jolly has been rumored to enter the race on a unity ticket for some time. Until now, the rumors have paired him with former Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy. On the podcast, Graham had said she’s eyeing both men as possible picks for lieutenant governor.

“I see my lieutenant governor selection as someone who’s going to be right by my side helping me get this state back on the right path,” said Graham on the Miami-based “Strange Days” podcast. “And so Patrick would certainly fit that definition, as would David, as would all the other candidates for governor on the Democratic ticket at the moment. So it’s really going to be for me a thorough analysis of who can bring the most to help make the biggest difference in the state of Florida.”

She went on to say Jolly, a former Republican congressman from Florida’s 13th Congressional District, was a friend. Graham said she was looking for “someone who can help me govern.”

Now, Graham says a Jolly pick is out of the question. “For lieutenant governor, I will choose a Democrat who reflects my progressive values: a woman’s right to choose, supporting public schools, raising the minimum wage, fighting climate change, expanding health care with a public option, and passing bold gun safety legislation.”

The Andrew Gillum campaign had called out Graham for her appeals to bipartisanship.

“It’s beyond frustrating that the self-described ‘very conservative’ Gwen Graham is already considering splitting the ticket to run with the GOP, especially with an energized Democratic base ready to vote Republicans out,” said Orlando state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, one of Gillum’s campaign surrogates.

Gillum supporters have already gone after Graham, accusing her of not being liberal enough. Just last week, a super PAC called The Collective launched a campaign ad attacking Graham’s voting record while she was in Congress. Graham sniped back at the Gillum camp, calling on them to denounce the ad.

Orlando state Rep. Amy Mercado said of the ad and Gillum, “These type of dirty tricks have no place in our state or our party, and he should immediately call for the ad to be taken down.”

Graham added: “This is the first public Democrat attacking Democrat that I have seen in this campaign. And it really does disappoint me. And I would hope Andrew would recognize that this is not the right thing to do and would ask The Collective PAC to pull it down because that ad is just full of lies.”

While Jolly is a Republican, he has emerged as a sharp critic of President Donald Trump, which could help negate any backlash of the pick from the Democratic base.

That criticism was noted by Graham in her announcement clarifying her position on Jolly. “While and I obviously disagree on many issues, like many progressives, I do respect his bravery taking on — more than even some Democrats in the race for governor have been willing to do. Every day, I am disgusted that more Republicans, like and , refuse to stand up to and defend decency and our democracy — refuse to place our country and our state ahead of politics. It is appalling.”

Poll: A Patrick Murphy-David Jolly ticket reflects Democrats’ desire for the middle

A newly commissioned poll suggests that Democratic voters are seriously interested in a “unity” ticket that would be led by former U.S. Reps. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, and David Jolly, a Republican, in Florida’s gubernatorial race.

The poll’s more significant ramification, however, may be that Florida’s Democrats may prefer a compromising moderate Democrat to a staunch progressive idealist.

The poll by Frederick Polls, an outfit that Politico points out was Murphy’s pollster, puts a Murphy-Jolly ticket atop the Democratic field, taking 21 percent, compared with 17 percent for Philip Levine and 12 percent for Gwen Graham, with Andrew Gillum and Chris King showing in for support.

Yet the result might be more about Florida Democrats desire to see unity in the spirit of “getting things done” than any explicit support for Murphy and Jolly, who’ve been dropping hints about a unity ticket after spending much of the past year touring together on a bipartisan two-man show against hyperpartisan politics.

The question as Frederick Polls, of Arlington, Va., posed it was:

“Some people are urging Patrick Murphy to run for Governor and pick David Jolly, a moderate and independent former Republican Congressman, as his Lt. Governor running mate. They say it would be a clear sign Murphy would be a different kind of Governor who would work together with reasonable Republicans in Tallahassee to set aside Florida’s old, partisan politics and get things done for Florida. In this case, who would you vote for in the Democratic Primary for Governor?”

The survey was of 750 likely Democratic primary voters, taken April 23-28 through a mixture of landline and cellphones.

Murphy and Jolly both ran for the U.S. Senate two years ago. Jolly, who was then a Republican Congressman from Clearwater, pulled out when U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio decided to run for re-election after all, while Murphy, then a Democratic congressman from Palm Beach Gardens, lost to Rubio in the general. Since then, the two have united in their message that partisan politics have ruined Congress, touring college campuses and other venues in Florida and nationally.

The central question that put a Murphy-Jolly ticket atop the Democratic field was not the only one suggesting that Florida’s Democratic voters want someone seeking the middle.

Voters picked, 70-22, “a moderate Democrat who is willing to work together with reasonable Republicans to get things done,” over “a who is committed to fighting for true progressive policies without compromise.”

Before they were asked about the unity ticket the voters were asked just about the four announced candidates, plus Murphy, and Murphy finished tied with Graham for second, with 14 percent, while Levine grabbed 20 percent.

Even with that, and with Gillum and King, 44 percent of voters still declared they are undecided.

Lauren Baer and Patrick Murphy

Patrick Murphy endorses Lauren Baer in CD 18 Democratic primary

Lauren Baer announced Monday that former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy had endorsed her in the Democratic Primary for Florida’s 18th Congressional District.

“I am excited to stand here today and endorse my friend Lauren,” Murphy said in a press conference at Baer’s campaign headquarters. “Lauren has the drive and passion to want to get into public service because she cares about solving problems. She has spent her career finding common ground to solve some of the toughest problems and she’ll take that experience and fight for the residents of Florida’s 18th every day.”

Murphy’s endorsement was teased in a Friday release from the Baer campaign announcing the press conference. He held the CD 18 seat for two terms, opting to forego re-election in 2016 to challenge Marco Rubio’s in the U.S. Senate race. His exit paved the way for Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast’s election over Democrat Randy Perkins.

“From his election in 2012, through his last day in 2017, Patrick served this community with distinction. He exercised the kind of empathy, bipartisanship, and integrity that we too rarely find in our leaders today,” Baer said. “I look forward to following in Patrick’s footsteps and to representing everyone in this district with the honesty and integrity that they deserve.”

The Murphy endorsement comes two weeks after U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch offered his support for Baer in her primary race against former Navy JAG Pam Keith.

Baer, who has already qualified for the ballot, leads Keith in fundraising with more than $700,000 on hand through the end of March compared to about $50,000 for Keith, who also ran in the 2016 U.S. Senate race, losing to Murphy in the primary.

Mast is only nominally opposed in the Republican Primary. He leads all candidates in fundraising with $2.9 million raised and more than $1.5 million in the bank.

CD 18 covers St. Lucie and Martin counties, as well as a chunk of northern Palm Beach County. The district, which voted plus-9 for Donald Trump, is only superseded by CD 26 and CD 27 on Democrats’ 2018 wish list.

University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato‘s “Crystal Ball” currently lists CD 18 as “likely Republican” in the fall.

Lauren Baer and Patrick Murphy

Patrick Murphy joining Lauren Baer in CD 18 announcement

Democratic former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy is joining Democratic congressional candidate Lauren Baer Monday, likely for the announcement of his endorsement of her for the Florida’s 18th Congressional District seat he once held.

An endorsement would be a push against fellow Democratic candidate Pam Keith, Murphy’s former opponent in a previous race, who’s been running an outsiders’ campaign for the CD 18 nomination anyway. Baer has set the announcement for 10 a.m. Monday at her campaign headquarters in Jupiter.

They both want a shot at Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, who succeeded Murphy for the seat when Murphy ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2016.

Keith also ran in that U.S. Senate race, losing in the Democratic primary to Murphy.

Baer, of Palm Beach Gardens, has raised more than $1 million, and has gathered enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in the Treasure Coast district.

Joe Henderson: Potential Murphy-Jolly ticket just not believable

Politicians do love to have their egos stroked, especially when someone whispers: “Hey, you are the answer to all the problems we face. You are the only hope for this state.”

The latest example of this seems to be a story that caught legs a couple of days ago, the one where a couple of well-known names from different political parties may be considering joining forces for a gubernatorial campaign.

I refer, of course, to Democrat Patrick Murphy and Republican David Jolly.

Having the two run on one ticket — Murphy as governor, Jolly as his loyal lieutenant — sounds like something a screenwriter would come up with for a movie plot about fixing government dysfunction.

I suppose we have to allow that anything is possible, especially in a political world where Donald Trump was elected president. But I just can’t see much long-term potential in something like this. To think the pair could win, or even make a significant dent in the vote totals, is just not believable.

I like and respect Jolly, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pinellas County, for his maverick views on how the people we elect to public office should conduct themselves.

After losing his seat in Congress, he has reinvented himself.

He has turned into a regular on MSNBC’s political talk shows, where he is pointed and precise. He also appears to harbor a dream that Republicans will one day come to their senses and become principled conservatives again instead of strident ideologues.

That may well happen one day but doesn’t mean there will be a place at the Republican table for Jolly if it does. He didn’t just burn his political bridges, he nuked them. Would Democrats accept him as one their own? Not likely, although, well … there is noted party-flipper Charlie Crist.

And Murphy, a two-term Congressman, didn’t excite anyone during his ill-executed run in 2016 against Marco Rubio for the U.S. Senate.

It is true that the current Democratic field of candidates — Andrew Gillum, Gwen Graham, Philip Levine and Chris King — doesn’t exactly have the state buzzing yet.

It’s early.

It is also worth noting that a large and enthusiastic crowd turned out last weekend in Hillsborough County to listen to those four candidates at the Democrats’ Spring Fling fundraiser.

That brings up Jolly’s favorite topic — fundraising. He went very public with his disgust at the amount of time members of Congress were expected to spend on raising cash to fund party initiatives.

Well, coming up with enough money to fuel a long-shot governor’s bid would require begging, groveling, and making promises this proposed ticket probably couldn’t keep.

And if by chance a Murphy-Jolly ticket did get in the race, and it later could be shown that it cost Democrats the governor’s mansion, Murphy would be a pariah in his own party from here to eternity.

Murphy and Jolly have a very public bromance going, and they are traveling the country explaining exactly what’s wrong with Washington.

As the website for the Bob Graham Center at the University of Florida notes, the tour is designed to “pull the curtain back on how we got here, to shine a light on the inside reasons why Washington has fallen into stalemate and dysfunction.”

They also offer proposed solutions.

Certainly, a campaign built around that theme sounds interesting in theory.

The truth is, though, it sounds even more like a publicity stunt that I believe both men would regret in the long run.

A Patrick Murphy-David Jolly gubernatorial run isn’t the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard, but …

Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy seems to be under the mistaken impression that because he was his party’s standard-bearer in the 2016 U.S. Senate race, that he is the party’s leader.

So when the Democrat watched last week’s televised debate among the four announced gubernatorial candidates, Murphy, according to a source very familiar with his thinking about what he may be planning, sized up the field and said, ‘Hey, I can do better than that.’

While there’s no arguing with Murphy’s concept that Andrew Gillum, Gwen Graham, Philip Levine and Chris King looked like, as the Tampa Bay Times’ Tim Nickens observed, they are not ready for prime time or with his conceit that he may be able to do better than that quartet, the possibility of a Patrick Murphy-David Jolly gubernatorial ticket isn’t the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard, but it’s not only implausible, it’s practically insulting.

After putting down Alan Grayson in the Democratic primary in 2016, Murphy ran a lackluster campaign against Marco Rubio, losing worse than he should have.

After redistricting shaded his congressional district more blue than red, Jolly lost a quixotic bid to hang on to a seat that had become decidedly Democratic.

Since those campaigns, Murphy and Jolly have fostered a friendship and have traveled across the U.S. on their tour “Why gridlock rules Washington and how we can solve the crisis.

The duo has become the toast of editorial boards everywhere.

Politicos who yearn for a “third way” in American politics would love to see a Murphy-Jolly ticket, just as they wanted to see a John Kerry-John McCain unity ticket in 2004.

You know who is not clamoring for a Murphy-Jolly ticket? Florida voters, especially Democratic ones. And Murphy will quickly find that out in the polling he has commissioned to gauge his statewide viability.

Oh sure, when asking voters generically about, say, ‘two centrist leaders with experience in government,’ the numbers will be through the roof, but when you ballot-test Murphy-Jolly vs. the field, reality will set in.

What Murphy wants Democratic primary voters to do is pick him, a two-term congressman (hey, that’s twice as long as Graham’s time in D.C.) with a bent for moderation over a field of tried-and-true progressives. Part of his plan is a commitment to name as his running mate a former Republican lawmaker and lobbyist who agrees with very little in the Democratic platform other than Donald Trump is no bueno.

If this weren’t Florida politics, I’d say you were making this all up.

Unfortunately, this is reality and here’s where my words get serious. For one, Murphy’s plan to name Jolly as his running mate should be taken as an insult by true Democrats. They’ve been in the wilderness for more than twenty years, and now, with their first genuine shot of winning back the Governor’s Mansion, Murphy (a former Republican himself) wants to enlist the help of his while male buddy to get the job done. Neither of whom has worked day one in state government.

Democrats should tell him thanks, but no thanks. They should tell Murphy he’s more than welcome to join the Democratic primary, as candidate qualifying doesn’t close for a month. But they should insist he commit to not naming any Republican — be it Jolly or someone else — to the ticket.

I may be down on a Murphy-Jolly ticket, but I do have to give Murphy credit for something. Like John Morgan, he’s helped expose the weaknesses of this Democratic field — that Gillum is too radical, that Graham is over-emotive on the stump and underwhelming on fundraising calls, that Levine is from that foreign land known as Miami-Dade, and that King begins his day reading the Sayfie Review.

All four of these candidates continue to plead to party activists and the media that they are the real deal.

One of the four may eventually become something like the real deal, but because they’re not now, the door is open for one of the most interesting political partnerships since Matt Santos named Arnold Vinik his Secretary of State.

Carlos Curbelo & Brian Mast

Vulnerable congressmen get boost from TV, digital ads

Republican U.S. Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Brian Mast are set to get some re-election support by way of ads paid for by The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC.

The Florida ads are part of a $48 million media buy – $38 million for TV ads and $10 million for digital – supporting Republican incumbents in 30 congressional seats nationwide.

CLF will spend $1.67 million buying time on Miami-Dade airwaves in support of Curbelo, who holds Florida’s 26th Congressional District. The group also has CD 26 down for its digital ad buy, though it didn’t break down digital spending by districts.

The CLF buy comes a day after a separate political committee announced a six-figure ad buy touting Curbelo’s record on climate change.

Florida’s 18th Congressional District, held by Mast, is not among the 20 districts getting TV support, but will be part of the digital ad buy.

Curbelo and Mast are the two most vulnerable incumbents in the state this cycle – Curbelo more so.

The second-term Congressman is one of 23 House Republicans nationwide who holds a seat won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. CD 27 did the same, and to a greater degree, though longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is not running for re-election.

Most political oddsmakers, including the Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball, list the CD 26 seat as a “toss up” in the fall. That’s partly due to Curbelo’s strong crossover appeal – while Clinton carried the South Florida seat by 16 points, voters also re-elected Curbelo over former Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia by 12 points.

A few Democrats have filed for the seat, though Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is Curbelo’s likely opponent on Election Day.

Mast is the next most vulnerable Republican in the state, but there’s a rather large gap between Democrats’ odds in CD 18 and CD 26.

CD 18 went plus-9 for Donald Trump, and Mast ran one point ahead of the top of the ticket, easily dispatching Democratic nominee Randy Perkins with a 10-point win.

Still, the district was held by former Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy for two terms and Democrats are optimistic they can take it back. Lauren Baer and Pam Keith are running in the primary, and four months out, Baer looks like she has the edge.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball lists CD 18 as “likely Republican,” as does the Cook Political Report.

David Jolly, Patrick Murphy bring bipartisanship roadshow to Jacksonville Tuesday

The speaking tour continues for two former congressmen, with a stop at Jacksonville University Tuesday evening.

Republican David Jolly and Democrat Patrick Murphy will discuss a question they have been mulling since last summer: “Why Gridlock Rules Washington and How We Can Solve the Crisis.”

The event kicks off at 7:00 p.m. at JU’s Davis School of Business.

Jolly, a Republican from Pinellas County, won the special election in early 2014 to succeed the late Bill Young; he was re-elected later that year. He lost his bid for re-election in 2016 to Democrat Charlie Crist after his 13th Congressional District was redrawn up with plenty more Democrats after the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the district had been illegally drawn up by the Florida Legislature.

“I think what Patrick and I are focusing in on is regardless of where you consider yourself on the (political) spectrum, there’s a path forward to working together, and in this environment I don’t think there’s enough people speaking to that,” said Jolly.

Murphy was a two-term Democratic Representative from Jupiter who narrowly defeated Republican Allen West in Florida’s 18th Congressional District in 2012. He was the Democratic Party’s nominee for U.S. Senate last fall but lost to GOP incumbent Marco Rubio.

“One of the biggest things that are frustrating Americans on both sides of aisle, and perhaps resulting somewhat in President Trump’s election, was the lack of progress that people have been seeing,” said Murphy last year.

David Jolly and Patrick Murphy taking their tour national

Jolly & Murphy are taking their “Why Gridlock Rules Washington” show national, with upcoming gigs booked at Harvard University and in Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

The duo, made up of Republican former U.S. Rep. David Jolly of Belleair Bluffs and Democratic former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, has been touring Florida universities and town halls for a few months now, offering biting looks at how hyper-partisan politics from both of their parties have gotten in the way of governing, and their hopeful views for why and how that should be overcome.

Next Thursday the duo will be appearing at Harvard University in Massachusetts, hosted by the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Harvard Institute of Politics.

In April they’ve got appearances set at Tufts University in Massachusetts and Florida House on Capitol Hill in D.C. In May they’ll be at the University of Chicago, in an event moderated by David Axelrod, chief strategist for Barack Obama‘s presidential campaigns.

They’ve also got several more appearances set in Florida in coming weeks, and more national gigs being discussed.

Murphy is the one with the mischievous heart-throb looks and the romantic optimism. Jolly is the one with the rugged bad-boy looks and the rebellious reputation. When it comes to singing hyper-partisan politics blues, or political kumbaya love songs, they harmonize.

“Despite the frustrations with Washington, we believe there are solutions to the gridlock and are excited to pull back the curtain for more people across the country to get involved in our democracy!” Murphy stated in a news release. “We’re grateful for anyone willing to have an open dialogue about fixing D.C. and honored that these schools and groups have opened their doors to us.”

“The response to our town halls has been overwhelming and I think that speaks to the desire by people to see Republicans and Democrats work together, not against each other, to solve our biggest issues,” Jolly added.

Marco Rubio upside down in new Q poll, especially with Hispanics

Marco Rubio had a rough night last week in Sunrise, where he faced a lion’s den of hostile voters during a CNN live town-hall meeting featuring family members and friends of the victims of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland the week before.

Rubio apparently isn’t too popular with the rest of the state either, as a new Quinnipiac Poll released Tuesday shows that only 38 percent of Floridians surveyed currently support the Republican lawmaker, with 55 percent opposing him. Nine percent did not have an opinion.

The survey of 1,156 Florida voters was conducted Friday, Feb. 23-Monday, Feb. 26, days after Rubio took a verbal beating from angry Broward County residents, some of whom accused him of being a sell-out to the National Rifle Association.

When pressed by Cameron Kasky, a student who survived the shooting at Douglas High, Rubio declined on multiple occasions to say whether he would accept future contributions.

Instead, he insisted over the booing and groaning in the crowd that he does not buy into the agendas of outside organizations and that they instead have to support his.

Rubio notably did say that he was open to reconsidering his position on the size of magazine clips, a chief policy prescription that gun control advocates favor.

He also said that he believes that nobody under the age of 21 should be able to buy a gun, and broke with other Republicans in saying that he did not believe that teachers should be armed.

Rubio, a Cuban-American, is not faring well with Hispanic voters either in the new survey. Only 27 percent of those polled support him, while 66 percent say they disapprove of his performance.

Rubio was re-elected to the Senate in November 2016, defeating Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, 52 percent-44 percent.

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