This week, Brady Duke, a pastor who served as a Navy SEAL, launched a bid for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.
While there had been speculation that Murphy would challenge U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., she announced at the start of the week that she is running for a fourth term in the U.S. House.
“As a Navy SEAL, I’ve looked into the face of evil in combat, and I will never back down from a fight in Washington,” Duke said. “Now, I’m a husband and father of five, and I’ve seen too many professional politicians compromising our country’s future and security. I’m ready to face these challenges to cut taxes, secure our border, defend life, and ensure the safety of our families at home and abroad.
“Stephanie Murphy won’t stand up to AOC or President Biden who want to raise taxes and enact radical policies that hurt Central Florida families,” said Duke. “I fought to protect American families in combat, and I’ll do so again in Congress.”
Duke joins Mark Busch, Joe Cavagna, Jeremy Liggett and Cory Mills in the Republican primary to challenge Murphy.
First elected to Congress in 2016 when she upset longtime U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., Murphy has tried to claim the center on Capitol Hill. Her caucus memberships including helping lead the Democratic National Security Task Force, the Blue Dog Coalition and the Future Forum. Murphy is also a member of the New Democrat Coalition and the Problem Solvers Caucus.
Noting that she represents a swing district, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) put Murphy on notice that she will be a top target in 2022.
“Stephanie Murphy votes in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi’s socialist agenda and will be fired by Floridians in 2022,” said NRCC Spokeswoman Camille Gallo on Monday.
While Murphy represents a swing district that is expected to be impacted by redistricting, she has carried more than 55 percent of the vote in 2018 and 2020.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.