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Patrick Murphy picks up endorsements from 5 sitting Democratic senators

in 2017/Top Headlines by

The Senate campaign of U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy saw a significant windfall Thursday as five members of the chamber he seeks to join endorsed his campaign.

According to an announcement, Murphy can now count former Democratic National Committee Chairman and Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island as supporters.

Murphy, running against fellow Democrat U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson and a four-deep Republican field for the open seat abdicated by Marco Rubio, was praised by his potential Senate colleagues for his advocacy on Social Security and Medicare – key programs in Florida where many elderly voters depend on them for survival – as well as his pragmatic bipartisan streak.

Kaine called Murphy “a problem solver, a businessman, and exactly the fighter Democrats — and all Floridians — can count on,” for instance.

“I’m excited to endorse Patrick Murphy because I’ve seen how hard he works for the people he represents. Patrick stands up to defend Medicare and Social Security and fights for sound policies that will grow the middle class. Floridians are lucky to have a candidate for Senate as hardworking as Patrick, and I look forward to having another Murphy in the Senate in 2017,” said Chris Murphy, elected the same year the Palm Beach representative went to Washington in 2012.

Schatz said Murphy is a “pragmatic problem solver,” a profile that his Democratic primary opponent Grayson has attacked, but that Murphy’s campaign is betting will win him the general election in 2016.

“In the Senate, I’m committed to working with anyone to put the middle class first,”  Murphy said in a prepared statement.

“I’m humbled by the support from these Democratic Senators, and I look forward to continuing to get things done with them in Washington. Over the past several months, our campaign has earned the support of so many Democratic leaders across Florida and across our country — and it shows just how strong our campaign to grow Florida’s middle class is.”

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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