Patrick Murphy picks up endorsement from left-leaning group End Citizens United
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy

Patrick-Murphy-D-U-S-18

Liberal public interest group End Citizens United endorsed Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

The group — founded to fight against “dark money in politics” that it says is corrupting the federal government in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC — says that Murphy is the field’s best bet in terms of making progress on campaign finance reform.

The move flouts the conventional wisdom — and the narrative advanced by fellow U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson — that Grayson is the only “real” Democrat in the race to replace Marco Rubio as Florida’s junior senator.

“Our mission is to elect strong Democrats to Congress who will fight to overturn Citizens United,” Jessica Adair, the group’s political director, told Florida Politics Tuesday afternoon.

“Since he was first elected, Representative Murphy has been a champion on campaign finance issues and has fought to bring more transparency to elections. We need him to bring this fight to the U.S. Senate, and ECU is proud to support him in this election,” Adair said.

In a news release, the group cited the fact that Murphy “fought to roll back a Republican plan that weakened campaign finance laws related to an individuals’ contributions to political party committees” in choosing Murphy, though they did not mention that Grayson’s activity along similar lines.

The endorsement could be a coup for Murphy among Democratic base voters: The group has endorsed well-known congressional progressives like former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennett since its inception this spring.

End Citizens United was founded in March and, according to MSNBC, has raised $2 million from about 150,000 donors, averaging about $15 a contribution.

The group says it is on pace to rake in $25 million to $30 million during the course of the 2016 election cycle, allowing it to make substantial plays in major contested House and Senate races around the country.

Murphy, for his part, has taken in more than $2.7 million in contributions as of July. Grayson has reported raising about $450,000. Those figures include only “hard” money given directly to candidates’ campaign accounts.

Ryan Ray

Ryan Ray covers politics and public policy in North Florida and across the state. He has also worked as a legislative researcher and political campaign staffer. He can be reached at [email protected]



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