Stephanie Murphy Launches Effort to Listen to Florida Democrats

Florida Congresswoman to Host Virtual Conversation Series with Key Democratic Stakeholders Across Florida; Will Help Democrats ‘Cast Forward’ into 2022

WINTER PARK, FLA. – In a video released today, U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Fla., announced an effort to help regroup, refocus, and reenergize Florida Democrats in advance of the 2022 elections with an initiative she is calling “Cast Forward with Stephanie Murphy.” Murphy, who has a proven track record of winning tough races in a competitive district, wants to help Democrats better prepare for the future.

“Florida is not a red state; it’s a hard state. You need the right money, message, and machine to compete and we’ve clearly fallen short over the last few election cycles,” said Murphy. “Now is not the time to lament about the past or to give up, but to come together ahead of 2022. I look forward to many frank and fruitful conversations over the next few months that I know will ultimately lead to a stronger and more effective party. Too many hardworking families have been left behind by the inhumane and incompetent leadership of the Trump-Rubio-DeSantis party, and these struggling families are depending on us to take back our state, to get through this pandemic together, and to put families first again.”

About the Effort

Murphy plans to organize a series of virtual conversations with Florida Democrats and key stakeholders, hosting listening events and one-on-one discussions throughout the state to gather input and ideas on how to build for the future. To lead this effort, Murphy has hired Lauren Calmet, the former political director of the Florida Democratic Party, who will work with the diverse and passionate factions of the party to facilitate these important conversations.

“I’m thrilled to work on this effort with Congresswoman Murphy, a dynamic leader who knows how to mobilize grassroots campaigns to defeat Republicans and fight for Florida families,” said Lauren Calmet, political director for Stephanie Murphy for Congress. “Our goal will be to listen, to gather data, and to work with Democratic leaders and legislators, donors, and grassroots activists across the state to put us on a path to victory next year.”

The initial phase of the conversation series will focus on five key areas critical to the future of Florida:

  • Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Managing misinformation;
  • Combatting climate change;
  • Advancing social justice and fighting voter suppression; and,
  • Developing a new generation of Floridians.

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About Stephanie Murphy

A former educator and businesswoman, Stephanie is an immigrant, a refugee, and the first Vietnamese-American woman ever elected to Congress. Her family fled Communist Vietnam when she was a baby and were rescued by the U.S. Navy when their boat ran out of fuel and food in the South China Sea. After spending time in a Malaysian refugee camp, Stephanie and her family immigrated to the U.S. and settled in northern Virginia, becoming proud U.S. citizens. Stephanie went on to become the first woman in her family to go to college. Following the 9/11 attacks, she left her job in the private sector and eventually went to work at the Department of Defense as a national security specialist in the President George W. Bush administration.

After her husband had the opportunity to run a small business in Florida, Stephanie moved to Orlando and returned to the private sector, counseling small businesses and startups and teaching at Rollins College in Winter Park. When a gunman attacked the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016, Stephanie launched her campaign for Congress two weeks later, running on a platform of change, security, and equality.

Murphy went on that year to stun the political establishment by defeating a 24-year Republican incumbent. In 2018, she defeated a Republican state representative by over 15 points. Her margin of victory in 2018, compared to 2016, marked the largest improvement of any Democratic incumbent in Congress. In 2020, Murphy easily dispatched her main opponent, a Republican doctor from Puerto Rico. Murphy has consistently won despite representing one of nine congressional districts in America that The Cook Political Report rates as having a “zero” partisan tilt, meaning it is evenly split among Democrats, Republicans, and non-party affiliates.

Since coming to Congress, Murphy has consistently been named one of the most bipartisan and most effective Members of Congress, quickly rising up in the ranks to secure coveted seats on the House Ways & Means Committee and the House Armed Services Committee. Most recently, House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn selected Murphy to serve as one of his chief deputy whips in the 117th Congress. As someone whose family fled a Communist regime, Murphy has been an outspoken critic of those who casually toss around the term socialism, declaring in an April 2019 Washington Post op-ed that “I am a proud Democrat. I’m also a proud Capitalist” and stating “the best way to blunt the appeal of socialism in the United States is to improve capitalism so it works better for everyone.”


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