U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy defeated liberal firebrand Alan Grayson and three others to secure the Democratic nomination and set up a battle in November with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
It’s the outcome that Democratic leaders have wanted for nearly 18 months. Shortly after the 33-year-old, two-term congressman declared his bid for U.S. Senate in March 2015, the party’s establishment showered him with high-profile endorsements — including one from President Barack Obama — and lucrative financial support.
In Murphy, Democrats have a candidate with little statewide name recognition, but one that was thought to be battled tested in having won two difficult campaigns for Congress in a Republican-leaning district. Democrats are banking on Murphy’s being able to appeal to moderate Republicans and independents — essential to winning a statewide election in Florida.
In winning Tuesday, Murphy overcame a series of self-inflicted résumé gaffes uncovered by the Herald/Times. The revelations did little damage to Murphy in the primary because his chief opponent, Grayson, struggled under the scrutiny of an on-going Congressional ethics investigation into offshore hedge funds he managed while in office and allegations that emerged in July by his former wife that Grayson had physically abused her during their previous 25-year marriage.