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Patrick Murphy says ‘nothing changes’ after Marco Rubio announcement

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U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, a newly announced candidate for the U.S. Senate, says nothing has changed since U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio officially entered the race for president in 2016.

The Jupiter Democrat, who recently entered the race for the Miami Republican’s soon-to-be vacated Senate seat, weighed in with a statement on Monday. Florida law prohibits candidates from seeking two offices simultaneously on the same ballot, so Rubio cannot both run for re-election to the Senate and for the White House next year.

“This announcement doesn’t change the core principles of my campaign,” Murphy said. “Floridians need a strong leader in the Senate. That means our next U.S. senator must take a stand against every attempt to dismantle Social Security and Medicare, fight to provide opportunities for middle-class Floridians, protect our Everglades, and ensure that every American has equal rights under the law.

“These are things we’ve seen lacking under Sen. Rubio’s time in office,” he added. “I’m committed to ending the gridlock that is holding our nation back by working together to get things done for Florida and this country.”

Now that Rubio is out of the Senate race – and popular Republican state CFO Jeff Atwater announcing he will not run – Murphy’s chances of success improve considerably. However, Murphy could still face a primary challenge from U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a well-regarded Orlando liberal who also has access to a large statewide fundraising base.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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