For several months, area Democratic and Republican clubs have been lining up their 2012 hopefuls to speak to their members. In Royal Palm Beach on Monday, the Mid-County Democratic Club hosted a candidate who started his speech by vowing to get rid of ” tea party wacko Allen West.”
Patrick Murphy, while new to politics, didn’t take long to energize the small but earnest crowd. His brief speech began with a positive account of how much support he has received during the seven months since he announced he would run for Florida’s Congressional District 22, now held by West. Murphy’s announcement that he has amassed $1.1 million in donations in that time, and around 10,000 online supporters, prompted vigorous applause from the crowd of about 30 Democrats.
Murphy described his education and job history, revealing that he grew up in the Florida Keys, went to the University of Miami, and worked as a day laborer on construction sites to pay for college. With a degree in finance and accounting, Murphy was hired to find inefficiencies in the accounting of Fortune 500 firms. He cited his accounting background as a main qualification for the job he hopes to land in D.C.
As to why he hoped to move beyond the world of business, the candidate credited “the tea party, Allen West and their extremism” for inspiring him to take the leap into politics. They “pushed him over the edge,” he said, explaining that “when the tea party first started, it was all about creating jobs and reducing deficit, and then they get the power, and it’s all about attacking gay rights and abortion and labor and Sharia law and those ridiculous things.”
Murphy downplayed his fight against his Democratic primary opponent, former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, suggesting the two may not even be fighting for the same seat after redistricting. Murphy called himself the only candidate who appeals strongly to independents and even moderate Republicans who he said he would not vote for West because he is too extreme.
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