For the third time since March, Vice President Joe Biden is returning to Florida to campaign for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy — this time in Tallahassee.
A source close to Murphy’s campaign confirmed to the Herald/Times that Murphy and Biden are scheduled to attend a fundraiser together around midday Friday at the home of Don Hinkle, a Tallahassee personal injury attorney and prominent Democratic donor.
No details are available about any public campaign stops Murphy and Biden might make while the pair spend the afternoon in Florida’s capital city.
After traveling to Tallahassee, Biden will fly to Miami to headline a fundraiser in Coconut Grove for beleaguered Weston U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who last week resigned her post as Democratic National Committee chairwoman amid controversy over leaked emails.
Biden and President Barack Obama endorsed Murphy in early March — a recognition Murphy has relied on heavily in his campaign for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat.
Obama himself stumped for Murphy with a Miami fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which also endorsed Murphy and is prepared to spend millions on his behalf. Obama also has appeared in radio and TV ads for Murphy this summer.
The Democratic establishment has rallied around Murphy because they view him as their best chance to turn Florida’s U.S. Senate seat blue, which could also help flip control of the chamber in the Democrats’ favor.
But assuming he wins the upcoming primary, Murphy faces a tough fight against the likely Republican candidate, incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio. Polls this summer, including one released earlier Thursday, show Rubio with a wide lead over Murphy in hypothetical match-ups.
In the Aug. 30 primary, Murphy faces U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando and Miami labor attorney and former naval officer Pam Keith.
Former assistant U.S. attorney Reginald Luster of Jacksonville and California real estate developer “Rocky” Roque De La Fuente of Orlando are also running in the Democratic race.
Rubio has a primary challenge from Manatee County home-builder Carlos Beruff, but Rubio became the favorite in that primary contest when he decided to run for re-election earlier this summer.
This story has been updated to correct the timing of Wasserman Schultz’s fundraiser.