Leading moderate Stephanie Murphy to bow out, delivering ‘stinging loss’ to House Dems

In what is being billed as “a stinging loss for her party,” U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., announced Monday she will not run for reelection next fall.

Murphy, 43, has been a leading voice of House Democrats’ moderate wing “who flipped a GOP-held battleground seat in 2016 and helped write the party’s playbook for its House takeover two years later, Politico reported, adding that the Democrat said she is bowing out to spend more time with her family, including her two school-aged children.

“It’s been a real honor for me to serve in Congress, but it does come at a personal sacrifice. My time away has been hard on my family and my kids and on me,” she told the political news website, adding that she hopes “to open a new chapter in my life, one in which I can spend a bit more time with my family.”

She becomes the 22nd incumbent House Democrat to forgo a reelection bid next year, the article noted, adding this foreboding analysis: “The growing wave of departures comes as historical and political headwinds suggest a likely GOP midterm takeover, and as the House itself becomes a more toxic and stressful environment amid the twin calamities of Covid and the Capitol insurrection.”

It would seem Politico is suggesting that Donald Trump is ultimately at fault for Murphy’s departure — she’s a member of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s politically motivated Jan. 6 select committee tasked with investigating the protest at the U.S. Capitol. Politico reported that she “has faced a dramatic uptick of threats against her and her family.”

While Murphy now says she’s bowing out to spend more time with her family, earlier this year she was planning a Senate run against incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who’s up for reelection next fall.

More from Politico:

This spring, Murphy had privately planned for a Senate bid against Rubio, but dropped it after fellow Floridian, Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), announced her own run. But while she publicly committed to running for reelection in the House, Murphy’s lackluster fundraising haul — just $140,000 in a quarter — fueled speculation that she had changed her mind. Some allies have suggested she could seek a statewide run in 2024 against Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.).


As for what the future may hold, Murphy did not rule out a run somewhere down the line.

“We’ll have to see what happens in the future,” she said. “When I left the Department of Defense, I knew then my time in public service wasn’t over. And I kind of feel the same way now.”

“I think it’s hard for people in politics and especially in Washington to understand that someone at my age would quote unquote, retire … without having some sort of scandal or without fear of losing a reelection or without, immediately running for another position or job,” Murphy said. “But really, right now I need to be with my family.”

She was also adamant that her decision had nothing to do with her reelection prospects or that of her party in 2022.

“I’ve won every race I’ve ever run, in the face of really tough odds,” Murphy said. “I am confident that I could win if I ran, but I’m not so arrogant as to believe I’m the only Democrat who can win.”


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