Patrick Murphy Archives - Page 2 of 73 - Florida Politics

Ed Narain the latest name to be floated as potential chair of Florida Democratic Party

In the 72 hours since Allison Tant announced she would not run for another term as Florida Democratic Party chair, all sorts of names have been floated as possible successors.

DNC Committeeman Alan Clendenin, former House Minority Leader Dan Gelber, former Congressman Patrick Murphy, former lawmaker Dwight Bullard and former lieutenant governor candidate Annette Taddeo are just some of Florida Democrats being mentioned in the conversation.

Another is Ed Narain, the outgoing head of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, whose ascendancy in the Legislature was snuffed in August when he narrowly lost a run for the state Senate District 19 race to Darryl Rouson. Narain was elected to the Florida House District 59 seat in 2014 and would have easily won re-election to the seat this year, but opted to run for the open Senate seat.

“It’s an honor for my name to be discussed with other Democratic leaders from around the state but I’m an outsider when it comes to party politics and I’m not sure leading the party is where I can best contribute,” Narain wrote to FloridaPolitics on Sunday night about the his interest in the position — not completely rejecting a possible candidacy.

Meanwhile, former legislator and state education commissioner Betty Castor suggests a positive move for the FDP would be to move their headquarters outside of Tallahassee.

“It is obvious that the Democratic Party needs to build its bench,” Castor emailed to FloridaPolitics. “There are others far more intricately involved, but the Dems should start where there are opportunities. Democrats did well in Hillsborough and Orange with positive growth in Osceola as well as South Florida. Municipal elections are always prime areas. My own hope would be to see the state headquarters moved to a population center, perhaps Tampa.”

Former CFO Alex Sink said Tant did a relatively good job during her tenure, but thinks four years is long enough for any party chair.

“I think she’s done extremely well under challenging circumstances and let’s not forget the fact that we did carry the state for President Obama in 2012, when everybody in the country thought that Romney would win,” she said on Friday.

“I think that some of the other significant things that have been accomplished is this whole change of the politics of Orange and Seminole counties, and a very successful effort in energizing and registering Latinos, which is something that we’ll be able to build on in years to come, and the numbers of Latinos officeholders who were Democrats. There are lots of accomplishments that Allison can point to.”

Sink admits that having Florida go red for Donald Trump was extremely disappointing, but says that, in reality, Florida has been a red state over the past couple of decades, making it challenging for any party chair.

“It’s a burnout job,” she says of the position. “It’s thankless. It’s mainly fundraising, and when you don’t control the levers of power in Tallahassee, which we don’t, it’s tough. Not a single state office holder and almost super majorities in both houses of the Florida Legislature. You just don’t have a lot of leverage.”

Allison Tant won’t return as Florida Democratic Party chair

Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant announced Friday she will not run for another term as party chair in January.

“It has truly been a privilege and an honor to serve as your chair and I wanted you to hear from me first that I’ve decided to not seek re-election in January,” Tant wrote in email to party members. “I will use the remainder of my term to ensure that the next chair is able to hit the ground running on Day 1 with as smooth of a transition as possible.”

The list of possible replacements starts with Alan Clendenin, the 57-year-old State and Democratic National Committeeman from Tampa who came close to becoming the party chair of the Florida Democratic Party in 2013, losing out by 80 votes out of over 1,000 cast to Tant. He currently is vice-chair of the FDP.

Clendenin did not immediately return a call for comment. He lost a bid for school board in Hillsborough County back in August.

Other names being bandied about include Democrats who fell short on the ballot this year like Annette Tadeo, Dwight Bullard, Patrick Murphy, as well as strategist Steve Schale, who went to Twitter to announce in a Shermanesque like statement: “Things I want to do in 2017: Write a Book Things I don’t want to do in 2017: Work for a political party or chair the state version of one

Tant’s decision comes after a very poor night for Florida Democrats on Tuesday, where Hillary Clinton fell short to Donald Trump by a little more than one percentage point in the race for Florida’s 29 electoral votes for president. Democrats were also unsuccessful in retaking the U.S. Senate seat, with Patrick Murphy losing by eight percentage points to incumbent Marco Rubio.

And in state legislative races, the party actually LOST one seat in the state Senate, despite new Democratic-friendly political lines drawn up by the Legislature last year. That resulted after the Florida Supreme Court ruled they had been originally drawn up in violation of the state’s constitution. They now have 15 members in the 40-person body.

Democrats did pick up three seats in the House, and now will have 41 members to the Republicans’ 79.

Some state Democrats also want to know if Scott Arceneaux will stick around. Arceneaux has been the executive director of the FDP since 2009, transcending the Karen Thurman and Rod Smith eras.

Here is Tant’s email in full:

Fellow Democrats,

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your dedication and tireless effort on behalf of our party. While this wasn’t the outcome we worked so hard for, we stood for what is best in our country — justice, equality, compassion, and hope.
As Hillary said in her speech, “This loss hurts. But please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It is. It is worth it.”
It has truly been a privilege and an honor to serve as your chair and I wanted you to hear from me first that I’ve decided to not seek re-election in January. I will use the remainder of my term to ensure that the next chair is able to hit the ground running on Day 1 with as smooth of a transition as possible.
Again, thank you for your support and inspiration over the last few years. You worked your hearts out and I couldn’t be more proud. But there is still so much work to be done to protect the progress we’ve made — and we don’t have a minute to waste. It’s on each and every one of us to defend the values we hold dear. Let’s keep up the fight and do all we can to move the state and country we love forward together.
I’ve loved meeting and working with you all and I know we will rise from this defeat to build a brighter future.
Sincerely,
Allison

 

 

Marco Rubio easily won re-election even though he lost big at home

Those Miami-Dade voters sure are split about favorite son Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

His home of Miami-Dade was the only county in Florida that went for Rubio in the Republican presidential primary in March. But in Rubio’s triumphant re-election to the U.S. Senate Tuesday, the General Election voters of Miami rejected him soundly.

Rubio won re-election anyway, steamrolling Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy enough in most of the Sunshine State to survive losing Miami and the liberal bastions of Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Tallahassee, Gainesville, and the new Democratic strongholds of Orlando and Kissimmee.

The counties dominated by those cities all went for Murphy Tuesday, as did his home-district county of St. Lucie. But that’s all he got.

Rubio took everything else in Florida, including running up big margins in several counties that also went big for Republican President-elect Donald Trump, such as Lee, Brevard, Collier, and St. Johns, plus a far more convincing win in Jacksonville’s Duval County than Trump enjoyed.

Rubio won re-election by 716,928 votes over Murphy, according to unofficial figures posted by the Florida Secretary of State. Rubio got 52 percent to Murphy’s 44 percent.

Like Trump, Rubio completely dominated through most of North Florida and the Panhandle. He won 84 percent of the vote in Holmes County, and at least 70 percent of the vote in 19 other counties, mostly in North Florida. But it was the 64 percent he won in Lee, 56 percent in Duval, 58 percent in Brevard, and 68 percent in Collier County that gave him the biggest margins toward victory. Lee gave him a 100,000-vote edge, and those other three each gave more than 66,000-vote margins to Rubio.

Rubio also won by more than 50,000 votes in St. Johns, Clay, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa counties.

Those eight counties countered Murphy’s big wins in Broward County, which provided him with a 241,000-vote margin; Miami-Dade, 108,000-vote margin; Orange County, 68,000 votes; and Palm Beach County, 61,000. Murphy got 55 percent of the vote in Miami-Dade, to 43 percent for Rubio.

Where was it close? Tampa Bay.

Rubio beat Murphy in Hillsborough County by 2,901 votes, or 48.1 percent to 47.6 percent. He won Pinellas County by 13,580 votes, or 49 percent to 46 percent. And Rubio won Jefferson County by 1 percent and Monroe County by 7 percent.

Murphy won St. Lucie by 3,347 votes, 50 percent to 47 percent.

Every other county offered a double-digit percentage spread.

 

Marco Rubio says election shows a ‘rejection of business-as-usual in Washington’

Marco Rubio is weighing in on Donald Trump’s stunning presidential victory.

“I congratulate President-elect Trump‎ and Vice President-elect Pence on their victory,” said Rubio on Wednesday. “They listened to the frustrations and anxieties of the American people after eight years of failure in Washington and earned this opportunity to lead the country. Their victory, along with Republican Senate and House victories across the country, are a clear rejection of business-as-usual in Washington.”

Rubio won election as well on Tuesday night, defeating Democrat Patrick Murphy by eight percentage points, 52 percent to 44 percent. Murphy made a huge issue of Rubio’s endorsement of Trump for president over Hillary Clinton, but in the end, it may have only helped him when all the votes were counted.

During his ill-fated presidential run, Rubio had blasted Trump, saying right before the Florida primary in March, “I believe Donald Trump as our nominee is going to shatter and fracture the Republican party and the conservative movement.”

That was then. This is now.

“It’s been a long, tough, and hard-fought election, but President-elect Trump struck the right tone last night by asking the country to come together,” Rubio said on Wednesday. “Whether you voted for him or not, he will soon be our president and our nation can only be successful in the years to come by helping him succeed.”

Although Trump won a decisive Electoral College victory, he was trailing Clinton with the popular vote early Wednesday. Earlier this week, Rubio acknowledged that whomever won the race for the White House, the country would be divided, and said that it has to come together.

“We have to be able to have the capacity to have debates over tough issues without ending up hating the people on the other side of it, and we’ve reached a very dangerous point in our politics where — I’m not just talking about political figures, I’m talking about everyday people, longtime friendships — have ended over a presidential campaign and over a political debate,” he said in Brandon. “We’re not going to be able to solve problems if we hate each other.”

“We can disagree on things,” he added. “We’ve always been a country with strong disagreements. But if we’re a nation where we’re literally at people’s throats, over every issue, we’re not going to be able to make a lot of progress. And so I hope that those of us who are in public service will do our part to try to inject more responsible discourse into our politics.”

Mitch Perry Report for 11.9.16 — GOP dominance

Where do you begin? One of the biggest political upsets in U.S. history, to start with, in Donald J. Trump beating Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States of America.

Lots of analysis there, including about the Democratic nominee, who for the second time in eight years, thought she had the presidency in her grasp, only to lose out — forever.

What about closer to home? Although Florida Democrats have had huge disappointments in 2010 and 2014 across the board, at least they had 2006, 2008, and 2012. But not 2016.

Down went Patrick Murphy, early into the evening. Down went Clinton, officially losing the state before 10 p.m.

In Hillsborough County, a House District 63 seat that has gone back and forth between Shawn Harrison and a Democrat and Shawn Harrison went this time to … Shawn Harrison, and not Lisa Monteliione.

Ross Spano won over Rena Frazier in HD 59. And Jackie Toledo easily defeated David Singer in the battle for House District 60 in Hillsborough County.

Wipe out city.

Congratulations to Blaise Ingoglia, who from the time he became the RPOF Chairman in early 2015 vowed to turn Florida red, and did so last night.

The Florida Democrats led by Allison Tant and Scott Arceneaux? I really don’t know.

What about Washington? It’s now got the presidency, the House and the Senate. Oh, and the Supreme Court as well, now that Mitch McConnell‘s move to not make a move on replacing Antonin Scalia will pay off big time next year.

In other news …

It was not a good night for Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. In addition to his girl, Hillary, losing in Florida, the mayor’s appeal for city voters to reject the charter amendment on allowing the city council to order internal audits won a smashing victory, 64-36 percent.

The upset of the night in Hillsborough County was Andrew Warren’s narrow victory over Mark Ober for state attorney.

It will be Jim Davison vs. Luis Viera in the special election in Tampa City Council District 7 race.

Charlie Crist defeated David Jolly in their CD 13 battle.

Donald Trump told Jack & Tedd on WFLA 970 yesterday morning he’d go quietly if he lost the election.

Now that he’s in the Senate for another six years, Marco Rubio waxes on how he can help make the political discourse a little more palatable in Washington.

Americans for Prosperity – Florida was one of over 50 groups who spent money in the Florida Senate race. In AFP’s case, they spent more than $2.5 million trying to bring down Patrick Murphy.

Bob Buckhorn was campaigning early yesterday against that charter amendment regarding the city council calling for their own internal audits of city departments.

Brian Mast defeats Randy Perkins in CD 18

Brian Mast is heading to Congress.

The Treasure Coast Republican defeated Democrat Randy Perkins in Florida’s 18th Congressional District, receiving 54 percent of the vote, or 183,606 votes. Perkins received 43 percent of the vote.

“I have had no greater honor than serving my country, and I would like to now thank the voters of Florida’s Congressional District 18 for granting me the opportunity to serve again,” said Mast in a statement. “I am humbled by each volunteer who has given so generously of their time, resources, and the work of their hands, which has made this entire campaign possible. Most importantly, I am thankful to my wife, Brianna, and our three children, Magnum, Maverick, and Madalyn, for their love and support throughout.”

Mast will replace Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, in the U.S. House. Murphy did not run for re-election, opting to run for U.S. Senate instead. Sen. Marco Rubio defeated Murphy in the U.S. Senate.

A combat veteran, Mast lost both his legs while on a mission in Afghanistan. He spent a few months at Walter Reed Medical Center. He decided to go back to school, getting a bachelor’s degree in extension studies with a concentration in economics and minors in government and environmental studies from Harvard University’s Extension School.

Those top-notch credentials became fodder for his opponents. During the primary, Republicans questioned whether he actually had a degree from Harvard. And during a heated editorial board meeting this fall, Perkins asked Mast why “the sacrifices and service you provided for this country make you capable of solving issues.”

Mast also took heat from his opponents over his support of Donald Trump, who he endorsed in June. But it was Perkins, who Republicans said had a short temper, who faced comparisons to the Republican nominee.

Perkins largely self-financed his campaign. Campaign finance records filed with the Federal Elections Commission show he gave more than $7.8 million of his own wealth to his campaign through Oct. 19. Perkins is the owner and founder of AshBritt Inc., a debris removal company, which he started with his family after Hurricane Andrew swept through South Florida. He is worth an estimated $200 million, according to POLITICO Florida.

But how he made his money hung over his campaign. Opponents slammed him over his company’s dealings, claiming he overcharged the Broward County School District for repair work. And outside groups began running attack ads featuring a one-time business partner in the final day of the campaign.

Mast received significant support from outside groups, including the Congressional Leadership Fund. The super PAC spent more than $3.5 million on TV and digital advertising, direct mail and get-out-the-vote efforts.

“Floridians are sending a hero to Congress with the election of Brian Mast, and Congressional Leadership Fund couldn’t be more proud to have backed him in the journey. This race came down to contrasts of sacrifice, service and solutions-oriented leadership, and Brian Mast is a champion on all fronts,” said Mike Shields, president of the Congressional Leadership Fund, in a statement. “Congress has a lot to learn from Brian. Whether its water issues, Obamacare failures, or economic development, Brian understands the solutions Floridians need. After years of liberal representation, Floridians can look forward to Brian’s center-right leadership in Congress.”

In a statement, Mast said he plans to “do everything in my power to repair our waterways, strengthen our national security, reform the VA, keep Social Security safe for our seniors, lower taxes, and protect the sanctity of life.”

“It is my duty in life to protect the Constitution, and to make our country a better place for my children, and for your children,” he said. “My commitment is the same now as it was in combat. I will serve with everything I have. I will do it selflessly and with courage. I will do it, above all, with a sense of duty to each citizen of our great community and to the United States of America.”

Marco Rubio cruises to victory in Senate re-election bid

Sen. Marco Rubio is heading back to Washington D.C.

The Miami Republican defeated Rep. Patrick Murphy in Florida’s U.S. Senate race. According to preliminary election results, Rubio received 52 percent of the vote. Murphy received 45 percent.

The victory caps off a tough political year for Rubio. He faced a devastating loss in his home state in March, coming in second to Donald Trump in Florida’s presidential preference primary.

 “This nation is at a pivotal crossroads and throughout his career, Rubio has proven himself as a steadfast and distinguished conservative leader committed to holding government accountable,” said RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia. “Once again, our great state rewarded the Senator’s dedication to public service and protecting the founding principles of this country.  We look forward to working with him to restore the trust and confidence the American people want to have in their government.”

He jumped into the U.S. Senate race in June, after weeks of brushing off calls and questions about whether he was going to run for re-election. He often cited concerns about the top of the ticket as one of the reasons he was running for a second term.

Rubio spent months fielding questions about his tepid support for Trump and whether he planned to serve a full term if re-elected. In October, he said he would “serve six years in the United States Senate, God willing.”

Despite a big push to turn Florida blue, Murphy failed to gain traction.

The Treasure Coast Democrat was relatively unknown, despite having the support of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden. He trailed Rubio in almost every poll since June, and was dogged by claims he padded his resume.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to be Florida’s Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. I’m proud of the campaign we built and so grateful for the passion Florida families across the state put in to this fight,” said Murphy in a statement. “While we hoped for a different result, the people of Florida have spoken and I respect their choice. I congratulate Senator Rubio on his victory and on the incredible honor of representing this state again in the U.S. Senate. Floridians are counting on him to fight for them, and he has my support in that fight.”

Murphy was first elected in 2012 to serve in Florida’s 18th Congressional District. He unseated Republican Rep. Allen West, and easily won re-election two years later. But his campaign was plagued by criticism of his limited accomplishments during his time in office.

Murphy said he is “grateful to the people of Florida’s 18th District for putting their trust in me over the past four years.”

“I will always remain true to that promise, and I will always fight for Florida,” he said.

On eve of election, Marco Rubio says it’s up to those in public office to inject more ‘responsible discourse’

Even before the end of this presidential election cycle, lots of Americans are concerned about how hard it might be to heal the divisions exposed in this country following the Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton battle.

That includes Marco Rubio, who said Monday it’s not lawmakers in Washington who have to learn to get along better, but the public itself.

“We’ve reached a point in our political discourse where it’s not enough to disagree. People now believe that if someone has an opinion that you don’t agree with, then they’re a bad person. You have to delegitimize them as a person, and I hope we can pull back for a little bit,” Rubio said in speaking to two reporters who hung out until the end of his campaign stop with volunteers at the Hillsborough County Republican Party headquarters in Brandon.

A poll conducted by Monmouth University last month laid out those divisions starkly. It reported 70 percent of American voters say this year’s presidential campaign has brought out the worst in people. Only 4 percent say it has brought out the best in people. Another 5 percent said it had done a little of both, while 20 percent say it had done neither. Democrats (78 percent), Republicans (65 percent), and independents (66 percent) agree the 2016 campaign has brought out the worst in people.

Perhaps most depressingly, the poll found 7 percent of Americans reported losing a friend over this election. Slightly more Clinton supporters than Trump supporters reported losing friends.

“We have to be able to have the capacity to have debates over tough issues without ending up hating the people on the other side of it, and we’ve reached a very dangerous point in our politics where, I’m not just talking about political figures, I’m talking about everyday people, longtime friendships … have ended over a presidential campaign and over a political debate,” Rubio said. “We’re not going to be able to solve problems if we hate each other.”

“We can disagree on things,” the Florida GOP senator added. “We’ve always been a country with strong disagreements. But if we’re a nation where we’re literally at people’s throats, over every issue, we’re not going to be able to make a lot of progress. And so I hope that those of us who are in public service will do our part to try to inject more responsible discourse into our politics.”

Rubio will learn later on Tuesday whether he’ll spend the next six years commuting from Miami to Washington D.C. as Florida’s junior senator — or six more weeks, if Democrat Patrick Murphy can upset him in their contest for U.S. Senate.

 

Party like a politician: Where to find the candidates on Election Night

Election night parties will be raging across the state Tuesday. For some, it’s a chance to pop some bottles and celebrate. For others, it will be a somber event, marking the last hurrah of a long, hard-fought campaign.

Want to party like a politician? Here’s a rundown of where candidates will be as the polls close.

U.S. Senate

It was one of the most-watched U.S. Senate races this election cycle. And on Tuesday night, both Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Patrick Murphy will be toasting the crowd in South Florida.

Rubio will attend an election night party at the Hilton Miami Airport, 5101 Blue Lagoon Drive in Miami. The party is expected to begin around 6:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, Murphy will be in Palm Beach Gardens. The Democrat is set to attend an election night party at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott, 4000 RCA Blvd. in Palm Beach Gardens. The doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Rubio has consistently led in the polls since announcing his re-election bid in June. Outside groups have poured millions of dollars into the race to re-elect Rubio; Murphy had the backing of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

U.S. House

CD 2 — Republican Neal Dunn will hold an election night part at the Holiday Inn Panama City, 2001 N. Cove Blvd. in Panama City. The Panama City surgeon faces Democrat Walter Dartland and Libertarian Rob Lapham.

CD 5 — Democrat Al Lawson will hold his election night party at The Moon, 1105 East Lafayette St. in Tallahassee. The party kicks at 6:30 p.m. He faces Republican Glo Smith.

CD 6 — Rep. Ron DeSantis will hold his election night party at Daytona International Speedway, 1801 W. International Speedway Blvd. in Daytona Beach. The party kicks off at 6 p.m. DeSantis faces Democrat Bill McCullough.

CD 7 — Democrat Stephanie Murphy is holding her election night part at 7 p.m. at the Sheraton Orlando North Hotel, An Tobar Irish Pub, 600 North Lake Destiny Dr. in Maitland. She faces Republican Rep. John Mica.

CD 12 — Rep. Gus Bilirakis will hold his election night party at the St. Nicholas Cathedral Center, 348 N. Pinellas Ave. in Tarpon Springs. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m., and will include a visit from Shalyah Fearing, a semi-finalist on NBC’s “The Voice.” Bilirakis faces Democrat Robert Matthew Tager in the general election.

CD 13 — Rep. David Jolly will hold his election night party in the grand ballroom at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, 501 5th Ave. N.E. in St. Petersburg. The fun begins at 6 p.m. Jolly faces former Gov. Charlie Crist, a Democrat, in the general election

CD 18 — Republican Brian Mast will hold his election night party at Spoto’s Oyster Bar, 131 S.W. Flagler Ave. in Stuart. The party kicks off at 6 p.m. Democrat Randy Perkins is holding his party at Big Apple Pizza, 2311 S. 35th St. in Fort Pierce. Perkins’ party is expected to begin around 7 p.m.

CD 19 — Republican Francis Rooney will hold his election night party at Bistro 41, 13499 Cleveland Ave. in Fort Myers. The party begins at 6 p.m. Rooney faces Democrat Robert M. Neeld in the general election.

CD 22 — Rep. Ted Deutch will hold his election night party at Miller’s Ale House, 1200 Yamato Road in Boca Raton. The party begins at 7 p.m. Deutch, a Democrat, faces Republican Andrea Leigh McGee.

CD 26 — Democrat Joe Garcia will hold his election night party at La Carreta Restaurant, 11740 S.W. 88th St., in Miami. Garcia faces Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who unseated Garcia in 2014.

State Senate

SD 8 — Democrat Rod Smith will hold his election night party at the Gainesville Woman’s Club, 2809 W. University Ave. in Gainesville. He’ll be co-hosting the party with Ken McGurn, a Democrat running in Florida’s 3rd Congressional District. Smith faces Republican Rep. Keith Perry in Senate District 8, while McGurn faces Republican Ted Yoho.

SD 13 — Republican Dean Asher is holding his election night party at Sheltair Orlando Air Center, 3024 E. Amelia St. in Orlando. The party kicks off at 7 p.m. Asher faces Democrat Linda Stewart.

SD 16 — Sen. Jack Latvala will hold his election night party at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater. If one Latvala isn’t enought, Rep. Chris Latvala will also be hosting his party at Ruth Eckerd Hall. The fun begins at 7 p.m. Sen. Latvala faces Katherine Perkins, a write-in candidate; while Rep. Latvala faces Democrat David Vogel in House District 67.

SD 18 — House Majority Leader Dana Young will hold an election night party at Pane Rustica, 3225 South MacDill Ave. in Tampa. Young faces Democrat Bob Buesing and no party affiliate candidates Joe Redner and Sheldon Upthegrove.

SD 37 — Rep. Jose Javier Rodriquez will host his election night watch party at Ball & Chain Restaurant, 1513 S.W. 8th St. in Miami. The fun begins at 7 p.m. Rodriguez faces Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla.

SD 39 — Sen. Anitere Flores will hold an election night party at 8470 S.W. 8th St. in Miami. The party starts at 8:30 p.m., and Flores will be joined by Senate President designate Joe Negron and other election officials. Flores faces Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

State House

HD 9 — Democrat Loranne Ausley will host an election night party at 7 p.m. at The Southern Public House, 224 E. College Ave. in Tallahassee. Ausley faces Republican Jim Messer.

HD 49 — Democrat Carlos Guillermo Smith will host his election night party at 7 p.m. at The Abbey, 100 S. Eola Drive in Orlando. He won’t be partying alone: Democrat Beth Tuura is also holding her festivities at The Abbey. Smith faces Shea Silverman in House District 49; while Tuura faces Republican Rep. Mike Miller in House District 47.

HD 63 — Democrat Lisa Montelione will host her election night party at Mr. Dunderbaks, 14929 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in Tampa. The event is free and open to the public, and kicks off at 6:30 p.m.

HD 69 — Rep. Kathleen Peters will host an election night party at Middle Grounds Grill, 10925 Gulf Blvd. in Treasure Island. The party begins at 6:30 p.m. Democrat Jennifer Webb will hold her election night party at Punky’s Bar and Grill, 3063 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. The party begins at 6:30 p.m.

HD 70 — Former St. Petersburg City Councilmember Wengay Newton will host an Election Night Watch Party for his campaign beginning 6:30 p.m. at The Hangar Restaurant & Flight Lounge in downtown St. Pete. The Hangar is located at the Albert Whitted Airport Terminal, 540 1st St. S.E., Second Floor in St. Petersburg. RSVP at 727-823-PROP. Newton faces Republican Cori Fournier.

HD 114 — Democrat Daisy Baez is holding her election night party at Pinch Me Gastrobar & Market, 216 Palermo Ave. in Coral Gables. The fun begins at 7 p.m. Baez faces Republican John Couriel.

Candidates aren’t the only one partying. Local party officials and supporters of ballot initiatives will also be partying hard Tuesday night:

— The Republican Party of Pinellas County holds its Election Night Watch Party at the St. Petersburg Hilton, 950 Lake Carillion Drive in Clearwater. Doors open at 6 p.m., with a cash bar.

— United for Care, the group behind the medical marijuana ballot initiative, will host its election night party at a hotel in downtown Orlando. The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m.

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Americans for Prosperity spends more than $2.5 million to defeat Patrick Murphy

Patrick Murphy frequently bashed Marco Rubio on the campaign trail this fall as a “puppet of the Koch Brothers,” citing the 98 percent grade he received from Americans for Prosperity, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit political advocacy group considered the political arm of Charles and David Koch.

In fact, AFP’s Florida chapter announced Monday they knocked on more than one million doors and spoke to over three million people on the phone in their effort to defeat Murphy’s bid for U.S. Senate. They also launched a website, PayMorePatrickMurphy.com along with TVdigital, and mail ads to try to ensure the Treasure Coast Democrat doesn’t win tonight’s U.S. Senate race against Rubio. It’s unusual in the respect that the group is best known for working on legislative issues at the state level, and has rarely become involved in Florida electoral politics.

“The majority of our work is not that world at all,” admits Andres Malave, a spokesperson for AFP-Florida. He hints that may be changing in the future, however.

“We usually focus on state issues, and as we in Florida continue to grow, we’re now, I think, at a point where we’re going to start doing a lot more work to try to impact the work of our federal delegation, and certainly the senators,” he said, but admits that when it comes to a direct advocacy campaign such as what they’ve employed against Murphy, “we have not partaken in it a lot.”

One exception was in 2012, when the group spent money in direct advocacy in Florida against the re-election of President Obama. 

Andres said the same issues AFP-Florida opposes in the state were obvious targets against Murphy, referring to opposition to a “pay-to-play attitude,” corporate welfare, and acceptance of the Affordable Care Act. “All of those boxes Patrick Murphy checked. And for us it was just an opportunity to rally our base and make them understand why it was so critical to keep him out.”

AFP-Florida was one of more than 50 outside groups to spend money in the U.S. Senate campaign. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Americans for Prosperity had spent more than $2.5 million into the Florida Senate race.

 

 

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