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2020

Stephanie Murphy picks up endorsements for reelection bid

And Darren Soto gets nod from Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy‘s reelection campaign announced a slew of endorsements Wednesday reflecting her views on issues ranging from abortion rights to campaign finance reform to guns.

The endorsements came in from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, End Citizens United, and Brady for Murphy’s bid to be reelected in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, covering Seminole County and northern and central Orange County.

Those joined endorsements Murphy recently drew from EMILY’s List and NARAL Pro-Choice America. That illustrates that Murphy, who has openly sought the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, has secured backing of most progressive national women’s rights organizations.

“I’m incredibly proud our campaign for jobs, security, and opportunity has been endorsed by EMILY’s List, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and now Planned Parenthood Action Fund,” Murphy stated in a news release issued by her campaign. “I have and will continue to stand with these powerhouse progressive organizations in protecting Roe v. Wade, defending women’s rights to make their own health care decisions free from government intrusion, and strengthening access to health care services for women and girls.”

At the same time, the reelection campaign of Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, whose Florida’s 9th Congressional District neighbors CD 7 to the south, and covers southern Orange County, Osceola County, and eastern Polk County, also announced the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

“At a time when a woman’s right to choose remains in jeopardy, I proudly stand with Planned Parenthood Action Fund and am honored to receive their endorsement,” Soto stated in a news release issued by his campaign. “Together we will work to protect equal healthcare rights for women everywhere.”

Neither Murphy nor Soto faces any Democratic Party primary challenge, but both have drawn large fields of Republican candidates seeking a shot at them in November.

In CD 7, Murphy, of Winter Park, is being challenged by Republicans Richard Goble of LongwoodLeo Valentin of Orlando, Vennia Francois of OrlandoThomas Delia of Orlando, Stephen Bacon of Debary, and Yukong Zhao of Orlando.

In CD 9, Soto, of Kissimmee, is being challenged by Republicans William Olson of Davenport, Sergio Ortiz of Kissimmee, and Jose Castillo of Kissimmee, and independent candidates Anthony Davila of Orlando and John Rallison of Orlando.

In its endorsement letter, Planned Parenthood Action Fund commended Murphy’s voting record, stating, “you have demonstrated strong support for sexual and reproductive health and rights, and we feel confident you will be a dedicated advocate for Planned Parenthood health centers and the people they serve when you are elected to the House in 2020.”

Murphy also secured the endorsement of End Citizens United, a national grassroots organization focused on electing campaign finance reform champions. In her campaign’s news release, Murphy said, “I’m incredibly proud to work with End Citizens United to overturn the disastrous Citizen United decision and get dark, special interest money out of our politics. In Congress, I’ve helped introduce and pass major reform measures, most notably HR 1 — a sweeping anti-corruption and campaign finance reform bill that strengthens democracy and returns political power to the people.”

“For the past decade, our democracy has been undermined by Citizens United,” End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller stated in the release. “We need to change how Washington works and that starts with electing leaders who represent the interests of the American people. These candidates are committed to fighting against the disastrous Citizens United decision and passing critical anti-corruption legislation to remove the stranglehold of special interests over government. End Citizens United is proud to endorse these candidates a decade after Citizens United, and we look forward to helping them win to restore our democracy.”

Finally, Murphy also announced the endorsement of Brady, a national grassroots organization uniting Americans against gun violence, who commended her dedication and leadership on the issue. Murphy, who decided to run for Congress in 2016 in the aftermath of the Pulse shooting, led to the repeal the Dickey Amendment last Congress and worked to secure $25 million for gun violence research this year.

“Since coming to Congress, I’ve fought to build support for commonsense gun safety measures, standing up to the NRA and putting families first,” Murphy said. “I’m proud to earn this endorsement from Brady, a strong ally in our efforts to push for meaningful solutions to make our communities safer.”

“We appreciate your dedication to the movement and look forward to working with you to unite gun owners and non-gun owners alike to take action, not sides, to end America’s gun violence epidemic,” said the Brady organization in its endorsement letter.

Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said Soto has been “an unwavering supporter of reproductive rights.”

“He has always stood by us and we are confident that he will continue to do so for years to come,” she stated in a news release issued by his campaign.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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