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Pam Keith slams Congressional Black Caucus’ endorsement of Patrick Murphy for Senate

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The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) PAC is endorsing Patrick Murphy for U.S. Senate, and Pam Keith isn’t impressed.

Murphy said he was proud to get the backing of the caucus Wednesday, saying, “In the Senate, I will fight for our progressive priorities, like fixing our broken criminal justice system, raising the minimum wage, and strengthening our middle class for hardworking families.

“All Floridians deserve the opportunity to succeed, and I will fight for our families every day in the U.S. Senate.”

It’s an important endorsement in a competitive Democratic primary race, where Murphy is running against Orlando area Congressman Alan Grayson and Pam Keith, a Miami-based lawyer and former naval officer who also happens to be African-American. She blasted the CBC’s endorsement of Murphy.

“The CBC is a PAC designed to help its members stay in office, not to help new candidates to get into Congress. Patrick Murphy, his PACs and his Parents and family have donated liberally to current members of the CBC to obtain their support,” she said in a statement.

“Therefore, this endorsement has nothing to do with the candidate best suited to represent African-American voters or who has an actual platform of ideas to address issues facing the African-American community, and has everything to do with the candidate best suited to financially assist CBC members in their own races. In that regard, Patrick Murphy’s personal wealth definitely leads the pack.”

This is not the first time that Keith has called out the CBC for supporting Murphy. Last fall, Keith claimed that Murphy had “bought” the endorsements of Alcee Hastings and Frederica Wilson, two of Florida’s three black members of Congress. “By buying Hastings and Frederica’s endorsements, Murphy effectively blocked me from getting any access to the Congressional Black Caucus,” she told FloridaPolitics in October. 

Keith made that charge by claiming that both lawmakers only endorsed Murphy because they received financial contributions indirectly from the Jupiter Representative, though either his political action committee or donations given by his parents, Thomas and Leslie Murphy.

Neither the CBC Black Caucus PAC nor Hastings or Wilson ever responded to those claims last year.

The CBC PAC says it works to promote African-American participation in the political process, increase the number of African-Americans in Congress, and support candidates who champion the issues that matter to the African-American community.

In today’s endorsement, CBC PAC Chairman Gregory Meeks from New York said that the group is endorsing Murphy “because we know that he will be a great Senator who shows up and works hard for Florida.

“I’ve worked with Patrick in the House and seen his passion on the issues that matter to Florida communities firsthand,” Meeks added. “Patrick is a leader who families can count on to fight for our progressive priorities. Floridians will be proud to call him their Senator and the CBC PAC is proud to endorse his campaign.”

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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