Florida Democrat and U.S. Representative Stephanie Murphy (FL 7th district) announced on Monday that she will not be seeking reelection in the upcoming 2022 midterms.
Murphy, a mainstay for the Democrat’s moderate wing who flipped a Republican-held seat in 2016, cited the burden of being away from her family and two young children as the reasoning behind her decision.
“I’ve decided not to seek another term in Congress. Serving Central Florida has been the honor of my life, but it’s also been incredibly challenging for my family and me.” said Murphy on Twitter. “This was not an easy decision, but it is the right decision. Thank you for everything.”
Murphy was once seen as a challenger to run against Florida Senator Marco Rubio in the midterm election, but recanted once Val Demmings announced her own candidacy, according to Politico. Murphy becomes the 22nd incumbent Democrat to forego the choice to run for reelection, leading some to sense a change in the Florida political landscape as some are projecting her district to lean Republican amid the announcement.
“So-called moderate Stephanie Murphy is taking the easy way out and bowing out rather than face brutal rejection at the ballot box in 2022,” said RNC Spokeswoman Julia Friedland. “Let this serve as a warning to Democrats that Floridians don’t want Joe Biden’s disastrous policies anywhere near the red state of Florida.”
Friedland told The Capitolist that she expects Florida voters to show up at the ballot boxes next November to vote against Biden’s policies that she referred to as disastrous, and that they expect to flip Congressional District 7.
The Republican primary field for the district includes Erika Benfield, Joe Cavagna, Brady Duke, Jeremy Liggett, Cory Mills, and Anthony Sabatini. Duke, a former Navy SEAL, is an early favorite for the seat.
“Central Florida deserves a leader who will stand up to Democrats’ reckless spending and ensure the safety of our families at home and abroad,: said Duke following Murphy’s announcement. “As a former Navy SEAL and a father of five, my mission remains the same as it has always been, and I’m ready to continue my fight for American families.”
The primary is set to take place on August 23, 2022 with the general election slated for November 8, 2022.