Murphy defeats Grayson in Democratic Senate race

Congressman to challenge Rubio for seat in November election

By Peter Burke - Managing Editor, Terrell Forney - Reporter, Associated Press

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Patrick Murphy was the runaway winner in Tuesday's Democratic U.S. Senate race, defeating fellow congressman Alan Grayson.

Murphy was the favorite in the Democratic Senate race, receiving the endorsements of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Obama has appeared in numerous television commercials encouraging voters to elect Murphy.

Grayson, who hails from the Orlando area, was elected to Congress in 2008, but he was defeated two years later by Republican Daniel Webster in the general election.

He ran unopposed in the 2012 Democratic primary for a newly created congressional district and defeated Republican Todd Long in the general election, returning to Congress after a one-term absence. He was re-elected in 2014.

Murphy spent part of Tuesday greeting voters at the Mary Collins Community Center in Miami Lakes. He was joined by former Florida senator and Gov. Bob Graham.

The 33-year-old University of Miami graduate was first elected to the House in 2012, defeating incumbent tea party conservative Allen West.

While Grayson has more consistently voted for Democratic priorities and Obama's agenda, many party leaders thought he was unelectable because of his brash demeanor.

Murphy appeared confident in the final weeks of the election, virtually ignoring Grayson and focusing instead on Rubio.

"Florida is ready for a senator who works for them," Murphy said.

The congressman said he would fight for Floridians in the Senate "every single day."

"You compare that to Sen. Rubio, who just yesterday said, 'No one can make a commitment to a six-year term," Murphy said. "Well, guess what, senator? I've got two words for you: I can."

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