Rep. Stephanie Murphy will not run for reelection next year

Murphy is a 3-term Democrat

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rep. Stephanie Murphy, the three-term Democratic congresswoman who represents parts of Orange and Seminole counties, will not run for reelection next year.

In a statement released Monday, Murphy said she is not done with public service but wants to spend more time with family and find new ways to give back to her country.

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“I strongly believe in a citizen Congress, where ordinary citizens run for office in search of duty and service, not in search of a career. And I never intended my time in Congress to become a career,” Murphy said.

According to, the nonpartisan group that tracks campaign and candidate funding, Murphy is the 22nd House Democrat to not seek reelection next year.

Murphy unseated Rep. John Mica, a 12-term Republican with credentials in the national security feed, in 2016. She rose up to become a top member in the Democratic caucus, serving as leader of the Democratic Blue Dog Coalition, a centrist Democratic caucus.

She also serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, the House Armed Services Committee and the Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

News 6 political expert and UCF history professor Jim Clark called the move “bad news for the Democratic party.”

“I think two things are happening. One, she sees next year is shaping up to be a Republican year. It’s just the way things happen. And she’s going to go from being in the majority, where she actually can get some things done, to being in the minority where it is very difficult to get things done. I also think gerrymandering [redistricting] is playing a role in this,” he said.

State Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, announced he would challenge Murphy next year.

When News 6 reached out for a statement, Sabatini responded with the following:

“As expected, the enormous strength of our campaign for Congress and plan to make America first again ended up pushing her out.”

There are three other Republicans filed to run in District 7, according to the Florida Division of Elections: Erika Benfield, Joseph Cavagna and Jeremy Liggett.

Florida’s U.S. House District 7, consistently considered to be a swing district, stretches from Seminole County down into downtown Orlando, and includes Maitland, Winter Park and University of Central Florida. With redistricting underway in the Florida Legislature, there has been some speculation over whether Murphy’s district would be redrawn to be less favorable to her reelection. The Florida Senate’s early version of the redistricting map largely left District 7 intact, while the Florida House’s version made changes.

As the district is currently drawn, Sabatini does not live in U.S. House District 7. One version of the proposed Florida House redistricting map, however, would include part of Lake County if approved.

Benfield, Cavagna and Liggett all live in Seminole County.

Florida’s Democratic Party Chairman Manny Díaz issued the following statement on Murphy’s move:

On the other side of the political aisle, the Republican National Committee’s spokeswoman, Julia Friedland, said the following:

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.