When I wrote about the 10+ competitive districts in Florida last month, you might have noticed I was utterly seething about FL CD-7. I wrote how national and state Democrats were dropping the ball with this recently un-gerrymandered congressional district, which was rated a prime pickup opportunity by The Hill.
Yet we had no candidate.
When I contacted the lone candidate I thought we did have, he told me that he chickened out in February. Essentially, his email said he was afraid to take on John Mica because he was too “entrenched.” (Coward.)
With the recent un-gerrymandered lines, we were split about even now in registration with Republican and Democratic voters (a 36% to 35% split!). CD-7 now had 21% more Latinos and 11% more African-Americans. With the upcoming blue wave, this was the best shot we had in decades. I really thought the national and state Dems were going to blow it.
When the June 24 deadline approached, I was prepared for rolling over and simply giving this one to the GOP. John MIca must have thought that as well.
Enter Stephanie (da-yam) Murphy.
This dream candidate came right out of a Hollywood screenplay—the hero that waits until the last possible second to come in and save the day. She is everything that John Mica isn’t: young, accomplished, articulate, and on her rocker.
For decades, John Mica has morphed from a moderate into a bitter, old, Trump-backing, right-wing, teabagger who happens to say racist things. While he has gotten literally and figuratively redder, the district he is supposed to serve has gotten bluer—and browner.
Murphy isn’t just a young up and comer—she has quite a resume. She is a former national security specialist, and an executive at Sungate Capital, where she is responsible for leading investment efforts and implementing government initiatives. She was the director at the Center for Innovative Health Care, and is also a professor of business and social entrepreneurship at Rollins College.
Not impressed yet? Okay. How’s this: she is also an expert on foreign affairs. She has served as a national security specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she received the prestigious Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. Her bio notes that she worked on a wide range of security issues from counterterrorism to foreign military relations.
She also serves on several nonprofit boards and somehow finds time to be wife and mother of two young children.
Still not impressed? Very well. How about her backstory? She left a Vietnamese refugee camp when she was six months old, and her parents worked as laborers while she and her brother became the first of her family to go to college. She is the epitome of the American dream.
Does that do it for you?
Best of all, she’s progressive. In her announcement, she demanded common sense gun reform and expanding educational opportunities. I’d say she was worth the wait.
The chair of the DCCC is confident enough that he has added Murphy to the PAC’s Red to Blue program, which gives training, money and assistance to candidates in close races. He is certainly impressed.
And I’ll tell you who else who is—Mr. John Mica. Her candidacy has rattled him a bit and he hastily blasted out a statement attacking her, complete with factual errors, calling her “a former administration political appointee.” (She was never a political appointee—but she when she served in government, it was during the Bush years, you twit.)
CD-7 is finally a fair district. We have our candidate. We are getting closer every day to flipping the House, and this was a big coup for our side. Let’s help her win.
PS: For Seminole Democrats, Kossack CFlaDem has the August Florida primary recommendations
Please sign up to volunteer and donate. I spoke to her in person, and all I can say is… wow!