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Randy Perkins becomes latest candidate to declare in Florida CD 18 race

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The race to replace Patrick Murphy in the Congressional District 18 race just got more crowded, with the announcement that Democrat Randal “Randy” Perkins has entered the contest.

Perkins is CEO of the South Florida-based AshBritt Environmental, a disaster recovery company.

“I have worked hard my entire life. But I’ve also been fortunate to have so many opportunities along the way that allowed me to support a family, build a successful business, and give back to my community,” Perkins said in a prepared statement.I’m running for Congress because Washington is making it harder for people to succeed – and that’s simply wrong.”

“The Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast need someone who will lead the charge to create jobs, fight for small businesses, and expand access to education and vocational training – and keep the promises we’ve made to our seniors and our veterans by protecting Social Security and Medicare and reforming the V.A.,” he said.

It’s not a surprise that Perkins is getting into the race, as talk began circulating in July that he was considering a bid for higher office.

There are now 13 candidates running to succeed Murphy: nine Republicans and four Democrats.

Perkins is considered an extremely successful businessman who may self-fund at least part of his campaign. In a statement, he said he would use his business experience to help others not so fortunate.

“People say, ‘If you just work hard, you can achieve anything,'” he says. “But I know as well as anyone it’s not that simple. Every day I see hardworking Floridians that do not have the same opportunities that allowed me to succeed. In Congress, I’m going to use my business experience to break through the gridlock and actually get things done.”

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 mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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