Leo Valentin slams Stephanie Murphy for voting to impeach Donald Trump

Stephanie Murphy_Leo Valentin
In advance of Donald Trump's visit, Valentin, Murphy stake positions.

With President Donald Trump set to visit Sanford Friday, Republican congressional candidate Leo Valentin on Thursday renewed his attack on Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy for voting in December to impeach the President.

At the same time Murphy joined other Democrats Thursday in ripping Trump for seeking to invalidate the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

“With President Trump coming to town, Floridians deserve to be reminded that Stephanie Murphy may try to claim she’s bipartisan, but she ultimately joined the impeachment bandwagon and voted to impeach President Trump,” Valentin declared in a statement Thursday.

Murphy might be grateful for that reminder, as Trump’s popularity in the swing district undoubtedly will be a factor.

Florida’s 7th Congressional District, which represents Seminole County and parts of northern, central, and eastern Orange County, is a mixture of deep-blue urban areas and red-to-purple suburban areas.

It’s the kind of district where Democrats and Democratic nominee Joe Biden hope to flip large numbers of suburban women votes, playing up Trump’s sagging polling numbers among women. Trump won Seminole County in 2016. Then Republicans had a hard time there in 2018, losing the vote in the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate elections, and doing worse than expected in other races. Overall, Democrats now hold a 5-point advantage in voter registration.

It’s not the first time Valentin has criticized Murphy about the impeachment. He did so when he first entered the race last November,

At that time Valentin painted Murphy as part of divisive politics, and he maintained that Thursday with his latest criticism.

“Unfortunately, this is a pattern in Murphy’s partisan record – she stood against President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts, denying tax cuts to working class families, and votes with Nancy Pelosi 95% of the time,” Valentin said Thursday. “I’m running for Congress to stand up for the hardworking families here in Florida that Stephanie Murphy has left behind in favor of the partisan, D.C. swamp.”

Murphy did not commit to impeachment until Dec. 17, the day before she joined a nearly unanimous Democratic caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives in voting to impeach Trump. She said then, “the President abused his position of power to such a degree that we have no choice but to act.”

On Thursday, she was more interested in talking about Trump’s ongoing efforts to repeal or strike down the Affordable Care Act. A lawsuit brought by Republican attorneys general and supported by the Trump administration is expected to be heard by the Supreme Court in November, shortly after the Nov. 3 election. The suit seeks to have all or parts of the health care law ruled unconstitutional and thrown out.

In a forum Thursday organized by Biden’s campaign and including other Democrats like House District 29 candidate Tracey Kagan and Seminole County Commission District 5 candidate Pernell Bush, Murphy said Trump has been trying to “crush” the Affordable Care Act for four years.

She added her assessment that Trump and the Republican-led Senate are trying to “jam through” the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. The Affordable Care Act may be first on their agenda, but not last, Murphy argued.

“So make no mistake, every vote to confirm this nominee is a vote to dismantle health care, women’s rights, workers’ rights, and voting rights, and to set back progress for a generation,” Murphy said. “The American people will hold every Senator responsible for their vote at the ballot box this November. And they will hold this President accountable for his sabotage of the health care system.”

Last updated on October 1, 2020

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]


  • Bryan J Smith

    October 1, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Not that I am voting for Trump (didn’t in ’16, and won’t again), but …

    One of the reasons I moved _away_ from Seminole County and Oviedo, my home for 35 years, from pre-teen to mid-40s, was because of the change the type of resident.

    I remember the days of middle class and knowing all my fellow, home-owning neighbors, almost half minorities (I’m largely white, ethnically), and us all respecting one another in the ’90s. We also helped one another.

    By the ’00s, and definitely into the ’10s, it was being taken over by renters. I kinda realized how bad it became — the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ — when a ‘renter down the street’ hit my house not once, but twice, with fireworks within the span of 10 minutes.

    The first one blew off a chunk of my siding. But he didn’t stop there. Before I could even get out the door, and thankfully so delayed, the next came right at and exploded in my front door! I only thank my maker that I wasn’t walking out at that point when it did!

    Now I tried to be as cordial with him as I could, but I kinda understood the new level of ‘irresponsibility’ that was overtaking my neighborhood and lack of understand things like ‘deductibles’ when he counter-suggested I make a claim with my insurance instead of ‘bothering him.’ I guess he assumed I was ‘just another renter.’

    I also don’t think he fully understood I’d then have to report him as the person who ’caused the damage’ when informing my insurance. After all, I was planning on fixing it myself (and eventually did), so I didn’t have to make an insurance claim … and I wasn’t even asking him for money to repair it either. I just wanted him to stop using the more serious fireworks, or take them elsewhere than where they would explode against my house.

    After that, our household was turned into my homeowner’s association continually over the next 5 years. And even if it wasn’t him, it meant the neighborhood was going to crap, because other people (or, more likely, their ‘renters’) were ‘turning in’ their neighbors, and now we — 20 year residences of that house — were now ‘targets’ of others in the neighborhood after that fateful July.

    So, you’ll excuse me if when this article talks about Seminole County swinging more Democratic. I’m hardly a Republican apologist, as they have solved nothing as well. And Trump is just another symptom of the growing issue with both popularism and advertising-driven medias, so he’ll hardly be the last.

    But the Democratic party continuing to cater to the country’s most irresponsible is not exactly something that makes me want to vote that party either. I understand people ‘down on their luck.’ But that’s not who we’re catering to these days.

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 1, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    There are no Republicans! There are only goptrump cult sociopaths! Tuesday showed you the paranoid delusional racist sexist liar traitor Trump In a shit storm of his making! Vote Blue ! Vote Democrat up and down ballot!

  • James Robert Miles

    October 1, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    If the GOP extremist party were not the party of the lawless than Trump would have been impeached. But they have NO MORALS or scruples so we are stuck with a egomaniac who has made the Presidency ALL ABOUT HIM!! There are two sets of laws. One for the lawless GOP and one for everyone else. If a Democrat had done a tenth of what Trump has gotten away with. the GOP extremist party would never let us hear the end of it!! SUMP TRUMP 2020, SAVE AMERICA from insanity!!

Comments are closed.


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