Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) on Monday endorsed Rep. Patrick Murphy over Rep. Alan GraysonAlan GraysonWhy Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog Could bipartisanship rise with Trump government? Schumer under pressure to add Sanders to leadership team MORE for the Democratic nomination in the race for the open Florida Senate seat.
Graham, also a former governor of Florida, pointed to Murphy’s “strong democratic values” as a reason he should win the seat being vacated by former GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioAt CPAC, Trump lashes out at media Conquering Trump returns to conservative summit Rubio brushes off demonstrator asking about town halls MORE.
“As Florida’s Governor and as a U.S. Senator, I worked hard every day to grow our middle class, protect our workers, and fight for our seniors,” Graham said in a statement. “Patrick has the right priorities and I’m proud to support him as Florida’s next Senator.”
Murphy and Grayson are in a heated primary campaign for the Democratic nomination.
Graham’s endorsement gives Murphy a major boost as the party’s establishment continues to rally around him. President Obama and Vice President Biden recently threw their support behind Murphy.
Grayson is under fire for continuing to run a hedge fund while in Congress. Top campaign staffers, who have since departed, suggested last year that he close the account, but the liberal firebrand pushed back on the advice, according to emails obtained by The New York Times.
The heightened buzz around the fund prompted Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSanders and Schumer are right: Ellison for DNC chair The Hill's 12:30 Report Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs MORE (D-Nev.) to call on Grayson to drop out of the race. But Grayson called the reports about his hedge fund “misleading statements” and “outright lies.”
Murphy has significantly outpaced Grayson in fundraising, but a Public Policy Polling survey from earlier this month found Grayson leading Murphy by double digits, though nearly half of voters are undecided.