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Patrick Murphy to headline this week’s Suncoast Tiger Bay gathering

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

U.S Senate candidate Patrick Murphy will field questions at a Suncoast Tiger Bay luncheon this Friday at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club in downtown St. Pete. The 32-year old politician is taking on the controversial Alan Grayson for the Democratic nomination in that race.

Tickets to the event are still available on the Tiger Bay website, but the deadline for reservations is Tuesday.

Murphy currently serves as the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 18th Congressional District covering parts of the East Coast including Palm Beach. He was elected in 2012. Prior to launching his political career, Murphy was a Certified Public Accountant for Deloitte & Touche. He later started his own environmental cleanup business.

Murphy emphasizes is commitment to environmental issues as well as preserving Medicare and Social Security while championing issues facing the middle class. He also vows to continue working to breakdown political gridlock in Washington D.C.

Murphy serves on the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees. He also launched a caucus comprised of Freshman and Sophomore lawmakers aimed at searching for solutions the nation’s fiscal issues. That group is called the United Solutions Caucus.

Murphy’s primary campaign against Grayson has been marked by headline grabbing issues. Grayson is the subject of a federal ethics complaint investigation prompting Murphy’s campaign to latch onto the news to bolster its own standing.

Murphy has been endorsed by progressive groups Naral Pro-choice America most recently. However, Grayson hasn’t taken the back and forth lying down. His campaign called Murphy’s attackes “cow pie-flinging” and claim the negative campaigning has led to a surge in campaign contributions topping $1 million.

That figure cannot be verified because campaign finance reports will not be publicly available until April.

The winner of the Murphy/Grayson matchup will face one of several Republican candidates vying for the GOP nomination. Those include Pinellas County Congressman David Jolly, Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez Cantera, Congressman Ron DeSantis, CIA contractor Todd Wilcox and, most recently, multimillionaire Manatee County developer Carlos Beruff.

Jolly is widely thought to be the frontrunner in the GOP race for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by presidential hopeful Marco Rubio.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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