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Patrick Murphy, David Jolly react to Ron DeSantis’ 2016 Senate bid

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On the heels of U.S. Rep. Ron DeDantis announcing a 2016 bid for the Republican nomination for Marco Rubio‘s seat in the U.S. Senate, Florida pols around the state are processing and reacting as the ever-shifting field of play shifts yet again.

Pinellas U.S. Rep. David Jolly — also rumored to have taken an interest in the seat, following demurrals from Vern Buchanan and Jeff Atwater –– offered the following Wednesday morning:

“I congratulate Ron on his decision to enter what will be a very competitive primary election to serve our great state of Florida in the Senate. I remain focused on the job I love in the House and intend to make a decision regarding the Senate in the coming months.”

The entry of Palm Beach U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, combined with presumed tailwinds for a moderate Democrat going into a presidential cycle, seems to have made many Republicans awfully nervous about jumping in.

Reacting to the news today, Murphy released a response even more measured than Jolly’s, staying on message in the face of a fresh challenge.

“Floridians want fresh, new leadership in the U.S. Senate,” said Murphy.

“I am running to end the gridlock in Congress, strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and empower the middle class to succeed. I look forward to sharing my vision with Floridians across the state over the course of this campaign.”

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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