Patrick Murphy Archives - Page 4 of 75 - Florida Politics

Marco Rubio, Donald Trump find common ground on Cuba

Sen. Marco Rubio has spent the last six years maligning Cuba policy from the Barack Obama White House.

He’s not expecting to have to do the same regarding Donald Trump, however.

After a meeting with Cuban dissident Guillermo “Coco” Farinas Tuesday, Rubio issued a statement, noting that “rolling back President Obama’s one-sided concessions to the Castro regime, a key campaign promise shared with President-elect Trump, will be a top priority for me next year.”

“By any objective measure, President Obama’s unilateral policy changes have failed, and they are not in the best interest of the American people or the people of Cuba,” Rubio observed, adding that he intends to fight for support for “civil society and dissidents from Cuba and other countries.”

Much of the campaign of Rubio’s general election challenger, Rep. Patrick Murphy, was designed to draw comparisons between Rubio and Trump. And for his part, Rubio went out of his way to draw differences between himself and the GOP nominee, vowing to act as a “check” on a Trump White House.

With the general election out of the way, however, Rubio is finding that on one of his biggest policy priorities, it’s useful to have an ally in the White House.

Barack Obama goes below .500 in his picks for Florida House and Senate seats

With his legacy on the line, Barack Obama went all out during this just-concluded election season to not only get Hillary Clinton elected, but also more than 150 down ballot races for state Senate and House in states across the country, including 13 Democrats on the ballot in Florida.

With one House race so close there is a recount going on, the president’s record on those picks in Florida stands at 5-7.

Though a former state senator himself in Illinois, Obama had never previously endorsed in state Legislature races as president before this year. His first batch of any state legislative endorsements came in Florida on Oct. 21, and he actually cut an ad for state Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, who ultimately ended up defeating GOP incumbent Miguel Diaz de la Portilla in Senate District 37.

Another Obama pick, former state representative Linda Stewart, defeated Republican Dean Ascher in the newly created Senate District 13 seat.

However, Obama’s other three Senate picks went down to defeat: Rod Smith to Keith Perry in the newly drawn SD 8 district; Debbie Mucarsel-Powell to GOP incumbent Anitere Flores in HD 39; and Bob Buesing, who lost by seven percentage points to House District 60 Rep. Dana Young in the newly created SD 18 seat in Hillsborough County.

In the House, Obama has a chance of going .500 in his eight picks, if Democrat Robert Asencio can continue to hold onto his narrow lead over Republican David Rivera in the House District 118 recount going on this week inside the Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections office.

Other Democrats backed  by Obama who won last week were Ben Diamond in Pinellas County’s House District 68; Nick Duran in HD 112; and U.S. Army veteran Daisy Baez over Republican John Courier in a close matchup in the HD 114, 51 percent to 49 percent.

The four Democrats who lost were Beth Tuura in House District 47, who lost out to GOP incumbent Mike Miller. Tampa attorney Rena Frazier lost by nine points to GOP incumbent Ross Spano in HD 59; Lisa Montelione lost to GOP incumbent Shawn Harrison in HD 63, 51 percent to 49 percent ; and attorney Ivette Gonzalez Petrovich lost out GOP incumbent Manny Diaz in the House District 103 race.

Obama also backed Patrick Murphy for Senate and Charlie Crist, Stephanie Murphy and Val Demings in congressional races, cutting TV ads for Crist and Patrick Murphy.

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.



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.


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