After Florida Rep. Val Demings (D) announced that she was launching a Senatorial run against Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R), all eyes quickly shifted to Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D) and a possible Democratic senatorial primary race. As much as it’s been speculated that Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) will be launching her gubernatorial run, many political pundits have speculated that Murphy would also make a run for Rubio’s senate seat. However, in a video statement posted on her website, Murphy confirmed that she will not be running for Rubio’s Senate seat while also stressing that she will instead “focus efforts on strengthening Florida Democrats.”
The leader of the Blue Dog Coalition shared that “since February, I have been traveling the State of Florida listening to my fellow Democrats about how we can regroup and re-energize our state party ahead of the 2022 elections.” After Democrats faced what is considered several Congressional upsets, the party is looking to strengthen their stronghold and expand their outreach in statewide elections.
“We’ve had too many close losses in Florida, and so I wanted to use my experience from winning tough races to help the party prepare itself,” she informed.
However, she did mention that she has “been seriously considering a run for the U.S. Senate in either 2022 or 2024,” saying that she believes “both Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott repeatedly put their own interests above the interests of the people of Florida.”
Thanking her supporters for encouraging her to run against Rubio, she did warn that “the reality is that Marco Rubio will not be an easy opponent especially if it’s on the heels of a bruising primary where Democrats spend millions attacking each other instead of using those millions to build the infrastructure we desperately need to win.”
In turn, in an effort to ensure that “the Democratic Party build towards statewide success,” Murphy expressed that “we must start now with unity of effort if we want the state to be ready to put the White House, a Senate seat, and more state and local races in the democratic column in 2024.”
Shortly after news began to circulate that Rep. Murphy was passing on a Senatorial run, Rep. Demings released a statement praising Murphy’s work in Congress. “Congresswoman Murphy is one of Florida’s outstanding public servants,” Demings said, expressing that they “were sworn in to Congress together, and I am honored to work alongside her every day for the people of Central Florida.”
Demings concluded by saying that she looks forward to continuing collaborating with Murphy “to recover from COVID and rebuild our economy.”