Four South Florida mayors have added their names to the growing list of supporters for U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy in his bid for U.S. Senate in 2016.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, Plantation Mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic, Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis, Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Eric Jablin, and Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein officially endorsed Murphy, who is seeking Marco Rubio’s Senate seat.
Murphy currently represents Florida’s 18th Congressional District, which covers much of the Treasure Coast.
“Support for our campaign is growing every day,” Murphy said, “and it’s because strong leaders like Mayors Benekovic, Ortis, Jablin, and Glickstein are stepping up early to help us.”
Both Bendekovic and Ortis serve in Broward County, one of Florida’s Democratic strongholds, with more Democrats than any other county in the state. Endorsements followed support from several other Broward County lawmakers: Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, Broward County Mayor Tim Ryan, Sheriff Scott Israel, Property Appraiser Lori Parrish, and Commissioners Martin Kiar, Mark Bogen, Beam Furr and Dale Holness.
Out-of-state endorsements for Murphy’s campaign include the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.
Within Florida, establishment Democratic support for Murphy is growing: U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel and Frederica Wilson, as well as former Gov. Charlie Crist, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and 25 Democratic members of the state Legislature.
Despite the groundswell of support, Murphy, a Jupiter Democrat, could still face opposition in the primary. Orlando liberal U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson has publicly stated he is considering a run for Rubio’s seat, and his entry could draw votes from the party’s far- left wing.