Stephanie Murphy Suddenly Backtracks on Senate Primary Bid Against Val Demings, Will Run for Current District

In this photo taken Oct. 18, 2016, Florida Democratic Congressional candidate Stephanie Murphy meets with voters at a senior center in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., is seeking a 13th term in Congress from central Florida, but it’s not an easy path. The veteran Republican tells supporters turnout …
AP Photo/John Raoux

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) has suddenly backtracked on her Senate primary bid against Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) and will instead run to retain her congressional seat.

“We’ve had too many close losses in Florida, and so I wanted to use my experience from winning tough races to help the party prepare itself,” Murphy said in a statement.

Florida Politics had previously reported Murphy’s aide told the publication she would challenge Demings.

“Stephanie Murphy has never lost a race, despite representing one of the most competitive seats in the country,” Lauren Calmet said.

National Republican Congressional Committee Spokeswoman Camille Gallo told Breitbart news via email that “Stephanie Murphy votes in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi’s socialist agenda and will be fired by Floridians in 2022.”

Murphy’s reasoning for pitching in to defend the Florida Democrats’ shaky turf aligns with who the Democrat Party may feel has the greatest shot at defeating Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in the general Senate election in 2022.

Former Orlando-area prosecutor Aramis Ayala has also bowed to Demings, who said she is likely to run for Demings district instead of the Senate after Demings made her decision to run for Senate.

Murphy’s political calculation to stay put and not challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for governor, leaving the task to Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), comes as the Republican-controlled state legislature will presumably add a district in Central Florida where Murphy and Demings’ districts are currently located.

Still undeclared is Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), who is exploring a bid for either Senate or governor.

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