Poor Patrick Murphy. This young son of a multi-millionaire Florida builder was convinced to be the Democratic Party’s sacrificial lamb against firebrand Congressman Allen West, who was considered vulnerable by some due to the fact that he was relocating just up the Florida coast to an entirely new Congressional district. It’s fair to say that reality has set in for the former Republican-turned Democrat.
This race has been ugly pretty much from day one, with Murphy working hard to to raise his name id against West, arguably one of the best known Members of Congress. The two sides traded decent punches during the late summer (with this borderline racist ad heating things up: , but it’s fair to say that West turned up the heat with what is possibly one of the most brutal campaign ads you will ever see:
The Murphy camp responded with this ad, though it’s fair to say that if your response ad is mostly a replay of your opponent’s ad, you’ve already lost. Not too mention that few of West’s supporters are either unaware of the incident which led to his Army retirement, nor would they see it as a negative. That didn’t stop the West campaign from firing this latest broadside:
Today my opponent, behind in the polls and desperate, launched a false tv ad attempting to smear my military record. I stand by the actions I took to protect the lives of my men in Iraq in 2003. I did not face a court martial. I paid a small fine for breaking rules in an effort to save the lives of my soldiers. I have an honorable discharge certificate as a Lieutenant Colonel and I voluntarily submitted my retirement paperwork upon redeploying from Iraq…something that Patrick Murphy has never done. If put in that situation, it is obvious that Patrick Murphy would not risk his life or endanger his career for those he was entrusted to lead. What kind of man believes he can equate or somehow excuse his drunken brawling and a verbal assault on a police officer by attempting to smear a combat veteran who retired honorably after 22 years of service? Patrick Murphy.
On top of all of that has been Congressman West’s prodigious fundraising, with nearly $11 million raised in this cycle alone (not counting the most recent quarter), an amount which would make most U.S. Senate campaigns very happy indeed. Murphy’s otherwise impressive $3 million raised places him at a significant disadvantage, though the SuperPAC created and funded by his father has made a small impact in this race.