Democratic Representative Patrick Murphy said Monday he will run for Senate in Florida, either challenging Republican Senator Marco Rubio or running for the seat Rubio would vacate to run for president in 2016.
“I'm running for the U.S. Senate for the same reason I ran for Congress in 2012—Washington is full of hyper-partisan politicians who can't, or won't, get anything done, and Florida deserves better,” Murphy said in a statement.
Murphy, 31, becomes the first candidate to announce a run for the seat. He said he will pursue it regardless of whether Rubio gives it up to run for president, according to the Associated Press.
Murphy defeated Tea Party-aligned Representative Allen West in 2012 to represent the swing 18th District in south Florida. Murphy is a strong fundraiser, bringing in almost $5.2 million for his 2014 reelection campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He crossed party lines to vote in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline and co-sponsored GOP legislation that would have loosened rules about health plan requirements under the Affordable Care Act.
The announcement comes after former Governor Charlie Crist and Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who serves as DNC chair, said they wouldn't seek the Senate seat. Liberal Florida Representative Alan Grayson has signaled interest.