Community philanthropist Sandra Henry to challenge Stephanie Murphy

Sandra Henry
Her entrance into the race sets up Democratic primary in CD 7.

A Democrat has entered the contest in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, with community philanthropist and businesswoman Sandra Henry setting up a primary challenge for Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

Henry, 58, of Lake Mary, founded and heads the ReachBack Foundation in Lake Mary, a not-for-profit group that organizes drives to provide goods to needy people ranging from teachers to at-risk youth, as well as other services.

She could not be reached Friday to discuss her candidacy.

However, on her foundation’s website, she describes herself as the owner of several businesses and as “a candidate that is in-touch with and can relate to the needs of poor people.” She is a graduate of Jones High School in Orlando, and attended Valencia College, according to her Facebook page.

Murphy, a two-term Democrat from Winter Park, already is being challenged by a passel of Republicans, though that group changes almost weekly.

CD 7 covers Seminole County, and parts of northern and central Orange County.

In her write-up, Henry said she has spent her life helping the less fortunate. She pushed for work-readiness programs, on-the-job training, STEM classes in low-income schools, living wages and getting resources into inner cities.

“Being a teenage mom and a single parent of four kids I know the challenges to survive. I went from welfare to the owner of several business,” she wrote, adding that she has seen “pain and suffering” and knows “what it is going to take to turn the country around.”

“My staff was an asset and had value to my business. This is the key part of business Corporate America is missing. There are people getting up at 4 a.m. to go to work and do not make $500 dollars a week and can not make their ends meet. Seniors are eating pet food because they can not afford the medication and pay for food. I am a candidate that is in-touch with and can relate to the needs of poor people,” she wrote.

Scott Powers

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 [email protected].


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