Gwen Graham backs Patrick Murphy in U.S. Senate race

in 2017/Top Headlines by

U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, a likely 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate and one of the leaders of the party’s moderate wing in Florida, is endorsing U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy‘s U.S. Senate bid, his campaign announced Monday.

The endorsement continues Murphy’s sweep of establishment and moderate Democratic supporters  in his effort to defeat progressive-wing candidates U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando and lawyer Pam Keith of Miami in the Aug. 30 primary.

Murphy, of Jupiter, already had received the endorsement of Graham’s father, former Florida governor and former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham.

Both Murphy and Gwen Graham entered Congress by upsetting incumbent, Tea Party-supported Republican U.S. congressmen, Murphy in 2012 and Graham in 2014.

“I am proud to support my friend Patrick to be Florida’s next U.S. Senator. When my father was Florida’s Senator, I so admired his willingness to roll up his sleeves and not stop fighting until the job was done. I see that same leadership quality in Patrick,” she stated in a release issued by Murphy’s campaign.

“He’s already fighting for our Florida values in Washington, and I have no doubt he’ll bring that same tireless work ethic to the Senate,” she continued. “This will be a Senator who puts Florida families first. In Congress, Patrick and I have worked together to protect the Everglades and the Apalachicola Bay. It hasn’t been easy, but at every turn, Patrick has never lost sight of what truly matters. That’s the type of leadership Floridians deserve in the Senate and I’m proud to support his campaign.”

Murphy’s challenge became greater last month when incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio decided at the last moment to seek re-election. That chased away almost all the other Republicans who were running for the seat, with the exception of Bradenton businessman Carlos Beruff.

Graham told last month that she wants to run for governor of Florida in 2018, though she would delay a decision on that until after her one-term tenure in Congress ends this January.

“Gwen represents the best of our state – hardworking, honest, and always working for what is best for Florida families,” Murphy stated. “Her support means the world to me and I look forward to working together to continue standing up for our shared values.”

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at