The August 30th Florida primary is just over three weeks away and most people are unfamiliar with at least four of the candidates. You may have only heard of Patrick Murphy because of his ads featuring President Barack Obama.
This year, there are five candidates in the Democratic Party vying to unseat Republican incumbent Marco Rubio. Based on the polling, there is little chance that any of Rubio’s Republican challengers will defeat him.
The Democratic choices are:
- Patrick Murphy – US Congressman 18th District
- Alan Grayson – US Congressman 9th District
- Pam Keith – Labor attorney and former naval officer
- Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente – Businessman and political activist
- Reginald Luster –Attorney
In this post, I will provide some background to the two top candidates for the Democratic Primary for US Senate, Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson. Later this week, I will address the rest of the candidates, Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, Pam Keith and Reginald Luster.
Congressman Patrick Murphy represents Florida’s 18th Congressional District (North Palm Beach and Martin and St. Lucie counties.) He sits on the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Select Committee on Intelligence.
Prior to his election to the House of Representatives, Murphy worked as a CPA. Actually, he received his CPA license in Colorado without having lived or worked there. Florida does not accept the Colorado CPA license as the requirements are lower than in Florida which means he was unable to work as a CPA at the Florida firm, Deloitte and Touche.
He has received key endorsements from the Democratic Party establishment (i.e.: President Barack Obama, VP Joe Biden, Charlie Crist, Alex Sink, Nan Rich, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Tim Kaine and many more.)
His issues page lists his top priorities as Growing the Middle Class, Immigration Reform, Protecting Voting Rights, Social Security / Medicare and Our Environment.
Murphy was originally a Republican, contributing to Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign, as well as other Republican candidates. A few months prior to announcing his run for Congress in 2011, he switched to the Democratic Party citing his differences with the Tea Party. He challenged and defeated Tea Party favorite, Republican Allen West in 2012.
We will explore Patrick Murphy more deeply over the next couple of weeks. Though he is considered a rising star within the Democratic Party, he is not without some controversy and there is some misrepresentation about his experiences.
For more information on Murphy:
Congressman Alan Grayson currently represents Florida’s 9th District in the Orlando area, including St. Cloud and Kissimmee.
He serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Science and Technology Committee. Previously, he represented Florida’s 8th District from 2009 – 2011.
After graduating Harvard, Grayson worked as an economist for two years before pursuing a law degree from Harvard. After graduation, he clerked for Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Antonin Scalia when he worked at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
His U.S. Senate campaign site is actually called “SenatorWithGuts.” His top issues listed on his site are LGBTQ+ Equality, Campaign Finance Reform, Education, Wall Street Reform, Jobs, Racial Justice and Women’s Rights.
He is a strong progressive, with the emphasis on strong. He is tough and not afraid to say exactly what is on his mind. He is divisive and as a result is not fully supported by the party establishment, though is highly thought of by the more liberal, younger Democrats.
His quote under Campaign Finance Reform is: “I owe nothing to anyone but the voters. I can tell every lobbyist and fat cat to go to hell, and I often do – just for the fun of it.”
He has taken on the fight for Congress to fund the Zika virus battle.
Grayson has his own problems to deal with. For example, his ex-wife has claimed domestic abuse during their marriage. He also had an altercation with a Politico reporter who asked him about it. Of course, this was captured on video. These accusations have already cost Grayson some key endorsements. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America withdrew their support.
We will delve deeper into Alan Grayson over the next couple of weeks as we get closer to the primary, including more specifics around his divisiveness and the abuse charges.
For more information on Grayson:
We will discuss the three other candidates tomorrow with “The Florida US Senate Democratic Primary – And the Rest” as we feature Pam Keith, Rocky De La Fuente and Reginald Luster.
Campaign dollars raised and spent
|Candidate||Raised||Spent||Cash on Hand||Debt|
|Patrick Murphy||$10,260,267||$3,569,008||$7,227,916||$ –|
|Alan Grayson||$ 2,513,300||$1,535,842||$ 484,371||$2,560,993|
|Pam Keith||$ 186,923||$ 204,433||$ 2,488||$ 75,317|
|Rocky De La Fuente||$ 71,000||$ 64,069||$ 6,931||$ 71,000|
|Reginald Luster||$ 18,607||$ 13,353||$ 5,253||$ 2,300|
Last Report: 30-JUN-2016
Source: fec.gov and opensecrets.org