Candidate yet? Stephanie Murphy’s campaign goes after Marco Rubio

Stephanie Murphy
All but officially, Murphy is campaigning for Senate in 2022 election.

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy  may not yet be officially running for the Senate, but she is campaigning for it.

The Winter Park Congresswoman’s political committee Monday launched internet attack ads against incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, the likely opponent for Murphy or anyone else who might emerge from the Democrats’ current cast of credible candidates in 2022.

“Senator Marco Rubio has repeatedly betrayed Florida by voting to take away health care, attacking immigrant communities, and standing with Donald Trump,” declares a social media ad from Stephanie Murphy for Congress on Facebook. “Do you think he should be re-elected?”

That ad links to a fundraising pitch from her campaign. It features a survey of leading questions, such as, “Did you know that Rubio voted multiple times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have stripped health insurance from thousands of Floridians?”

Murphy has not announced or filed to run for Senate in 2022. For that matter, no credible candidates have yet, including Rubio, though he has said he will seek reelection.

While other potential Democratic candidates reportedly have been testing the water, Murphy has been making splashes.

She recently grabbed the more generic campaign domain name, Then her campaign commissioned an internal poll testing her viability for the office. The campaign launched a campaign-style video presenting her credentials statewide to Democrats. She pledged a statewide “listening campaign.” She bolstered her campaign staff with several early hires, including Lauren Calmet, the former political director of the Florida Democratic Party.

Her poll specifically tested her against three other potential Democratic Senate candidates, Reps. Val Demings of Orlando and Ted Deutch of Boca Raton, and Spanish television broadcaster Maria Celeste Arrarás.

Murphy’s home district, Florida’s 7th Congressional District, is purple, covering Seminole County and a big chunk of northern, central and eastern Orange County. That partisan balance could change with redistricting though. Florida’s Republican majority in Tallahassee is expected to do as much gerrymandering as courts might allow to take back seats they’ve lost in the past decade. That includes CD 7, which Murphy won in an upset of longtime Republican Rep. John Mica in 2016, then held with easy reelections in 2018 and 2020.

Thus, a statewide U.S. Senate run against a popular but vulnerable Rubio might be easier for her than reelection to a fourth term in the House once Republicans rework CD 7.

Her campaign is picking at Rubio’s vulnerabilities, at least from the point of view of Democrats and independents her ad targets.

“Were you aware that Rubio accepted more than $3 million in contributions from the NRA — even after the devastating attacks at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland?” the survey asks.

“Rubio betrayed Florida’s immigrant population by supporting President Trump’s efforts to eliminate family-based immigration and DACA. Do you think this is hypocritical?

“After reading this, does it surprise you to learn that Marco Rubio voted TWICE to acquit Trump for criminal acts, including for inciting a violent insurrection at the Capitol?

Finally, the survey offers Murphy in comparison, declaring, “

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].


  • Sonja Fitch

    March 15, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    Feel that wonderful blue wave in Florida in the elections of 2022! Fried for Governor! Murphy for US Senate. Closer everyday til Democrats are elected up and down the ballot in2022! Yo Duval Dems run and win against that damn traitor Rutherford! Yahoo!

  • Matthew Floyd Lusk

    March 15, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    Murphy from Georgetown? NWO plant. huge red flag.

  • Kay

    March 15, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    We certainly don’t want NY or California style tax and spend government in Florida! We don’t want the lawlessness, murders, crime, drug abuse or homelessness that occur in Democrat run cities or states. I left NYC 15 years ago and moved to Florida not because of the great weather but for a better way of life in Florida. The Democrats have destroyed both NYC and NYS. Vote red down the line to keep taxes and crime down and employment up!

    • PeterH

      March 16, 2021 at 12:29 pm

      Florida is a grifter state. Florida can’t survive without free stuff coming from Washington. Florida is third in line behind South Carolina and North Dakota with accepting government hand outs to stay afloat. You’re not paying attention if you don’t see homelessness in Florida. It is everywhere and growing. Homeless migrate to cities and beach communities because cities have the toilet facilities, resources and manpower to feed and cloth the homeless.

    • c park

      March 16, 2021 at 1:53 pm


      You forgot to say after “keep taxes and crime down and emplyment up” and keep Salley our kids stupid cause we want an ignortant labor pool to take care of mom and dad in Nursing Homes @ $8hr.

Comments are closed.


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