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Mother of Pulse victim criticizes Marco Rubio in new Patrick Murphy ad

The mother of one of the Pulse nightclub shooting victims is sounding off in a new advertisement for Rep. Patrick Murphy.

The Murphy campaign released a new TV spot Monday, ahead of the first U.S. Senate debate between Murphy and Sen. Marco Rubio. The 30-second spot features Christine Leinonen, whose son, Christopher Leinonen, was killed in the June attack on the Orlando nightclub.

In the ad, Leinonen criticizes Rubio for not taking action following the shooting.

“He was shot nine times. He didn’t have a chance, and he’s just one of over a hundred people who were shot. He was half my heart. I’ve lost half of who I am,” she says about her son in the ad. “I cannot understand how Marco Rubio would go back to Washington, D.C., and do nothing. I don’t think Patrick Murphy is afraid to take on the toughest problems, including gun violence, in this country.”

This isn’t the first time Leinonen has spoken out about the need for gun reform. She spoke during the Democratic National Convention, calling for commonsense gun policies.

She was among those members of the Pride Fund who threw their support behind Murphy. At the time, she said Murphy will “fight for the gun violence prevention measures that will help keep our families safe.”

A gunman killed 49 people and injured dozens more when he stormed a gay nightclub in Orlando in June.

Murphy faces Rubio in the Nov. 8 general election. In a statement Monday, Murphy said Rubio “never found the courage to stand” with Leinonen.

“Marco Rubio went back to Washington and stood with the gun lobby to oppose commonsense measures that would help keep Florida families safe. Marco Rubio puts the gun lobby before Floridians every time,” said Murphy in a statement. “I’m fighting for Christine, for those we lost at Pulse, and for Florida families across our state. We have a responsibility to act and Floridians deserve a real leader in the U.S. Senate.”

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