Political newcomer Stephanie Murphy will replace 12-term Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica in Washington, taking advantage of a newly drawn district and riding a backlash against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to victory.
Murphy was helped in Tuesday's election by several million dollars pumped into the race by Democratic groups who spotted an opportunity to knock off an incumbent in a year where Trump's comments about women and minorities hurt other Republicans on the ballot.
Murphy tied Mica to Trump in television ads, and also criticized him for taking money from the National Rifle Association just days after a gunman killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Mica had easily won his previous 12 elections, but this year his district wasn't as Republican-friendly after the Florida Supreme Court ordered lawmakers to redraw congressional maps to comply with the state constitution.
In a statement Murphy thanked Mica for his many years of service to Central Florida.
“Tonight, the people of central Florida rejected partisan deadlock and dysfunction and embraced a new approach,” said Murphy. “In Congress, I will work with both Democrats and Republicans, and I will always put people over politics.”
Mica conceded to Murphy Tuesday night, attributing his loss to the court-ordered redistricting of Florida's districts and campaign spending.
"It has been my honor to serve the district, state, and nation and I’m proud of my accomplishments both in Florida and in leadership positions in Congress," Mica said in a statement.
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