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2020

Stephanie Murphy adds $292K to reelection fund

Democrat draws more financial support from business PACs.

Political action committee money, mostly from business PACS her Republican opponents might like to tap, continued to flow into Democrat Rep. Stephanie Murphy‘s reelection coffers.

Murphy is seeking a third term in Florida’s 7th Congressional District representing Seminole County and parts of Orange County. She collected another $292,497 in the second quarter of 2020, with just over half of that, $158,000, from PACs.

The haul pushes her campaign’s total to just over $2 million, and leaves her with $1.4 million left in the bank heading into July, with no primary challenges to worry about.

Three Republicans are squaring off next month in the August 18 primary for a shot at unseating her.

Orlando doctor Leo Valentin raised about $120,000 in the second quarter, bringing his total to $463,000 and leaving him about $276,000 on hand heading into July. Yukong Zhao, an Orlando businessman, reported $223,000 raised and $84,000 in the bank through June 30. Richard Goble is showing $132,000 raised and $10,500 banked through the same date.

All three are trying to characterize Murphy as something of an anathema to business interests.

But the largest portion of her campaign contributions, as usual, came from business PACs, reflecting some success in Murphy’s efforts to position herself as a business-friendly Democrat.

Eight PACs donated $5,000 each in the quarter, including PACs for FedEx, Capital One, Molina Healthcare, CVS Health, the National Association of Manufacturers, NextEra Energy, Synchrony Financial, and Aflac.

Other notable new business PAC contributions included $4,000 from Cigna, $4,000 from the National Tooling & Machining Corp., $3,000 from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida, $3,000 from AT&T, $1,500 from CitiGroup, $2,500 from the National Apartment Association, $2,000 from the National Association of Realtors, $2,500 from Morgan Stanley, $2,000 from Northrup Grumman, $1,500 from the Independent Community Bankers Association, $1,000 from the American Rental Association, $1,000 from Lockheed Martin, $1,000 from the National Association of Convenience Stores,  and $1,000 from the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

She also received some PAC money from more traditional Democratic allies. Those donations include $4,000 from the New Democrat Coalition, $2,500 from the Service Employees International Union, $2,500 from Tri-State Maxed-Out Women, a pro-abortion rights group, $2,000 from Moving Forward, and $1,500 from the Brady PAC, which advocates gun law reform.

In the second quarter, Murphy also collected $133,097 from individuals, with about 40% of that coming from outside Florida. Still, 225 of her itemized individual contributions came from Florida, amounting to $76,136.

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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