On 7-Year Anniversary of Hate Crimes Act, Stephanie Murphy Criticizes Mica for Putting His Politics Over People

ORLANDO – Seven years ago today, President Barack Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law – a sweeping measure that expanded the 1969 hate crime laws to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Congressman Mica voted against the law.

Matthew Shepard was a student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten, tortured, and murdered in 1996 because he was gay. James Byrd Jr. was an African-American male who was murdered in 1998 by three men because of his race.

“How many times can Congressman Mica vote against protecting all members of our community? Central Florida has had enough of Congressman Mica’s far-right, out-of-touch voting record,” said Murphy. “The Pulse shooting was not just a terrorist attack and the largest mass shooting in American history – it was also a hate crime – and Congressman Mica has voted time and again against cracking down on hate crimes. He has also twice voted against the Violence Against Women Act. Just what will it take for Congressman Mica to put the people of central Florida ahead of his own out-of-touch political agenda?”

According to the Human Rights Campaign, a crime motivated by the perpetrator’s bias against the victim occurs every hour in the United States.


Congressman John Mica voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. [Roll Call 770, 08 October 2009]


Stephanie Murphy is an educator, businesswoman, and former national security specialist who is the Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress in Florida’s Seventh Congressional District. Stephanie currently works as an executive at Sungate Capital where she is responsible for leading investment efforts and implementing government affairs initiatives. She is also an instructor of business and social entrepreneurship at Rollins College. Previously, Stephanie served as a national security specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she received numerous awards for her distinguished service, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. Stephanie lives in Winter Park with her husband and two children, Liem and Maya ages five and two.

NEWS: Joe Biden Endorses Stephanie Murphy for Congress

ORLANDO – Today, former national security specialist and candidate for Congress Stephanie Murphy announced that she has received the endorsement of Joe Biden.

“I am proud to endorse Stephanie Murphy for Congress,” said Biden. “Having grown up watching her parents work long, hard hours just so she and her brother could be the first in their family to attend college, Stephanie will be a voice in Congress for the hardworking families of Central Florida and will expand their access to the American Dream. In Congress, I know Stephanie will work with both parties to end the gridlock and put people first, whether by fighting to end senseless gun violence or making sure our kids have every opportunity to succeed.”

“I am honored and proud to receive Joe Biden’s endorsement in my campaign for change, security, and equality,” said Murphy. “No leader understands the struggles of working families more than Joe Biden, and he’s always been their biggest champion. In Congress, I hope to continue Joe’s fight for a stronger middle class – bringing Democrats and Republicans together to raise wages, fight for women and families, and support our seniors and veterans.”

Murphy is running for Congress in Florida’s Seventh Congressional District, which includes all of Seminole County and northern Orange County, including Winter Park and much of downtown Orlando.


NEWS: Stephanie Murphy Releases New Ad Highlighting Need for Change in Congress

ORLANDO – Former national security specialist Stephanie Murphy released her third television ad today, highlighting the need to bring change to Congress. Murphy’s new ad calls for a different approach on Capitol Hill, such as calling on Congress to pass “no budget, no pay” legislation, stop the partisan attacks on women’s health care, and put our families first by passing commonsense legislation to keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists.

Click here to view the new television ad.

Murphy is running for Congress in Florida’s Seventh Congressional District, which includes all of Seminole County and northern Orange County, including Winter Park and much of downtown Orlando.

Statement from Stephanie Murphy:

“If we want to change Washington, we must change the people we send to Washington,” said Murphy. “For too long, partisan gridlock has prevented Congress from working for the American people, and Congressman Mica has become part of the problem over his 30 years in D.C. We deserve leaders who will stand up for our families and keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, protect women’s access to health care, and pass a budget on time. Congress needs more people who will fight for American families. It’s time for a new approach.”


NEWS: Barack Obama Endorses Stephanie Murphy for Congress

ORLANDO – Today, candidate for Congress Stephanie Murphy announced that she has received the endorsement of Barack Obama.

“I’m proud to endorse former national security specialist Stephanie Murphy for the United States House of Representatives,” said Barack Obama.

Continued Obama, “In Congress, I know Stephanie Murphy will put Central Florida families first, and fight to build on all of the progress we’ve made over the last eight years to create a stronger, safer, fairer country for our children. In the wake of the Pulse tragedy, I have been struck by the resilience of the greater Orlando community and how they have come together to reject hate and fear, and to fight to end the cycle of senseless gun violence in our country. Stephanie Murphy embodies those values and will work with both parties toward the commonsense gun safety reform we need, and will be a champion for Central Florida’s working families in Congress.”

“I am incredibly honored to be endorsed by Barack Obama, and I am so grateful for the steady hand in which he has guided our nation throughout his two terms in office,” said Stephanie Murphy. “Eight years ago our country was on the brink of economic disaster, and thanks to Obama, we have made incredible progress. But there is more work to be done. We must work in a bipartisan manner to strengthen our middle class, raise wages for American families, pass commonsense gun safety reform, and usher in a new prosperity for all Americans. I thank Barack Obama for his support of my campaign, and I look forward to working together with both parties to bring change, security, and equality to our nation.”

Murphy is running for Congress in Florida’s Seventh Congressional District, which includes all of Seminole County and northern Orange County, including Winter Park and much of downtown Orlando.


NEWS: Stephanie Murphy Responds to FEC Violation By Congressman John Mica

ORLANDO – Former national security specialist and Democratic nominee for Congress Stephanie Murphy released the following statement today after it was revealed that Congressman John Mica violated federal law with his recent television ad. According to FloridaPolitics.com, Congressman John Mica was “was hit with a formal complaint to the Federal Elections Commission Friday alleging he and his campaign violated federal law by failing to present proper campaign disclosures in a TV commercial airing in Florida’s 7th Congressional District race.”

Statement from Stephanie Murphy:

“Congressman Mica’s failure to comply with the basic rules of the Federal Election Commission in his attack ad is deeply troubling. I find it disturbing that instead of focusing on the issues most important to the people of central Florida, Congressman Mica has violated federal law in his attempt to launch outlandish and false attacks against me. I call on Mica to pull his illegal attack ad, and I look forward to a thorough investigation of Congressman Mica’s failure to comply with the Federal Election Commission.”

Murphy is running for Congress in Florida’s Seventh Congressional District, which includes all of Seminole County and northern Orange County, including Winter Park and much of downtown Orlando.


“John Mica hit with FEC complaint about TV commercial disclosure” [Florida Politics, 10/21/16]


NEWS: Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer Joins Stephanie Murphy for Tour of Local Business Incubator

ORLANDO – Yesterday, Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) joined Stephanie Murphy for a tour of local business incubator Canvs. Established in April 2015, Canvs is home to 100 companies, dozens of start-ups, and the Orlando Tech Association.

“I was pleased to join Stephanie for a tour of Canvs, an organization working to promote innovation and job growth here in central Florida,” said Whip Hoyer. “Recently House Democrats relaunched the ‘Make It In America’ jobs plan to encourage entrepreneurs to create jobs here at home. As a businesswoman herself, Stephanie is committed to encouraging the growth of small businesses in the Seventh District, and I’m confident she will continue her work for Florida in our nation’s capital. I’m proud to support her in her campaign for Congress.”

“I want to thank Steny for joining me in Orlando to discuss the ways in which we can work to encourage job growth in central Florida and across the United States,” said Murphy. “We need an economy that works for more Americans. As a businesswoman in the private sector, I’ll work in a bipartisan way to create better, higher-pay jobs in central Florida so that every family has a fair shot at the American Dream. That’s why I support the ‘Make It In America’ plan, so that we can promote entrepreneurship and innovation that strengthens our economy and puts our families first.”

Murphy is running for Congress in Florida’s Seventh Congressional District, which includes all of Seminole County and northern Orange County, including Winter Park and much of downtown Orlando.


NEWS: Stephanie Murphy Responds to the Final Presidential Debate

ORLANDO – Following last night’s presidential debate, Stephanie Murphy released the following statement condemning the Republican nominee and Congressman John Mica’s continued support of Donald Trump.

Statement from Stephanie Murphy:

“What will it take for Congressman Mica to put Floridians ahead of Donald Trump? Congressman Mica has stuck with his party’s nominee through despicable attacks on women, Veterans, minorities, and even a Gold Star mother. But Trump’s latest refusal to say he will accept the results of the election is an attack on our 240-year-old American democracy. By refusing to reject his nominee’s dangerous, anti-democratic views because, as he said, he’s ‘pretty much a party loyalist,’ Congressman Mica makes it clearer than ever that he puts his party ahead of his country. Our district deserves better than this.”


NEWS: Human Rights Campaign Endorses Stephanie Murphy for Congress

ORLANDO – Today, the Human Rights campaign announced their endorsement of former national security specialist Stephanie Murphy for Congress in Florida’s Seventh Congressional District. The Human Rights Campaign, the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, represents 1.5 million members and supporters across the county. HRC fights to ensure equal rights for all LGBTQ Americans.

“Stephanie Murphy is someone who will work to ensure that everyone, including LGBTQ people, can one day live free from fear of discrimination,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “HRC is proud to endorse Stephanie Murphy, who will be an important ally as we fight to pass the Equality Act and take us an important step closer to equal treatment under the law for LGBTQ people.”

“I am so proud to receive this endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign, a tireless advocate for LGBTQ Americans,” said Murphy. “Equal rights are human rights, and no American should face discrimination because of who they are or who they love. I’m proud to stand with HRC in support of the Equality Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, employment, and education. We must continue the fight ensure equal treatment for all LGBTQ Americans.”

Murphy is running for Congress in Florida’s Seventh Congressional District, which includes all of Seminole County and northern Orange County, including Winter Park and much of downtown Orlando.


Mica: “I Think People Want To Reserve The Sanctity Of A Marriage Between A Man And A Woman.” “Well, I think people are concerned about — about marriage. Again, if you go beyond Washington, D.C. — and it`s a beautiful day here in Washington, D.C. — but it`s quite different out there. I think people want to reserve the sanctity of a marriage between a man and a woman.” [Tucker (MSNBC), Transcript, 10/31/06]

Supported “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Military LGBT Ban. “Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Reps. John Mica and Bill Posey all said they support ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ — but added caveats, saying they would be open-minded about changes suggested by the Pentagon. Said Mica: ‘I am sure there are many people with different sexual persuasions who have served this country well.’” [Orlando Sentinel, 8/16/09]

Voted Against Preventing Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation Or Gender Identity. In January 2016, Mica voted against a motion that would “exempt from the bill’s provisions any rule that prohibits discrimination by federal contractors or subcontractors on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” The motion to recommit failed, 178-239. [HR 1155, Vote #19, 1/07/16; CQ Floor Votes, 1/8/15]

Opposed Expanding Federal Hate Crime Law. In 2009, Mica voted against expanding federal hate crime law to cover offenses based on a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition the bill would also cover crimes based on a victim’s physical or mental disability. At the time of the bill passage, the law only covered the use of threat or force based on race, color, religion or national origin. The bill passed 249-175. [HR 1913, Vote #223, 4/29/09; CQ Weekly, 5/04/09]

Received A 0% Grade From The Human Rights Campaigns 114th – 111th Congressional Scorecards. [Human Rights Campaign, accessed 10/13/16]


MEMO: Stephanie Murphy Takes The Lead

TO: Interested Parties
FROM:  Brad Howard, Campaign Manager, Stephanie Murphy for Congress
DATE:  Friday, Oct. 14
SUBJECT:  FL-07 State of the Race


Stephanie Murphy Takes The Lead 

Strong Campaign by Murphy & Donald Trump’s Sinking Numbers Position Murphy for Victory


Businesswoman, educator and former national security specialist Stephanie Murphy is giving Congressman John Mica his toughest challenge in his 23-year career in Congress. And this week, a new poll shows that Murphy has taken a two-point lead, with room to grow. By all accounts, Murphy’s momentum is gaining, and she is well positioned for an upset on Election Day.


It is clear that Murphy, her powerful story, and her message of change, security, and equality are resonating with voters in this young, diverse district. Voters are also rejecting Donald Trump’s candidacy and are abandoning Congressman Mica – especially independent voters – because they view Mica’s partisanship and consistent support of Trump as troubling.

In a DCCC poll of 499 likely voters in Florida’s Seventh District conducted on Oct. 10, Stephanie Murphy leads Congressman John Mica by two points, 45% to 43%. Murphy also has increasing favorability and strong support among independent voters in the district, leading Mica by 18 points among them.

Further findings from the poll:

  • As more voters learn about Murphy, she has been able to turn an 18-point deficit (36% Murphy to 54% Mica) into a two-point lead (45% Murphy to 43% Mica) in just two short months. Murphy still has room to grow, considering that 50% of voters who are still undecided in the Congressional race plan to vote for Hillary Clinton in the Presidential race, compared to just 15% who plan to vote for Donald Trump.
  • Hillary Clinton holds a commanding 11-point lead over Donald Trump in the district (47% to 36%). Clinton leads by 22 points among registered independents.
  • Mica’s continued support of Trump is a liability. Fifty-one percent of voters say they are less likely to support Mica due to his support of Trump and just 30 percent say it makes them more likely to support Mica. Independent voters are especially uncomfortable with Mica’s support of Trump, with 62 percent of them saying it makes them less likely to support Mica.


The House: 10 Most Vulnerable: “#5: Congressman John Mica:  This 12-term Republican hasn’t faced a serious election in decades, and Democrats didn’t even have a competitive challenger against him until late June. But with Stephanie Murphy now in the race, Mica finds himself on this list for the first time because he’s facing re-election in a heavily redistricted seat that’s more Democratic and at least 40 percent new to him. Republicans are concerned that he hasn’t invested the time or resources to introduce himself to new voters, while Democrats are treating this like a top pickup opportunity.” – [Roll Call, 10/11/2016]


Experts Rating Last Updated
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball Toss-up Oct. 13, 2016
Washington Post’s “The Fix” Toss-up Oct. 12, 2016
The Cook Political Report Toss-up Sept. 29, 2016
The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report Toss-up/Tilt Republican Sept. 29, 2016


“Set against a backdrop of redistricting, national tragedy, demographic change and hotly contested presidential race, FL-07 is exactly the type of district that could make the difference between Democrats picking up a modest (5-10) or larger (10-20) number of House seats on Election Night. It also happens to feature the most jarring contrast between an incumbent and a challenger in the country. This race moves to the Toss Up column.” [The Cook Political Report, 9/29/2016]


NEWS: Murphy to Mica: Do You Still Think This is Still Just ‘Locker Room Talk’?

ORLANDO – When lewd comments made by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump bragging about the sexual assault of women leaked last Friday, Trump excused it as “locker room talk.” And enthusiastic Donald Trump supporter Congressman John Mica repeated the “locker room” talking point on Monday, as he reaffirmed his support for Trump: “I will still support the Republican nominee.” [10/10/16, Orlando Sentinel].

Today, in the wake of last night’s New York Times report that Trump inappropriately touched two women, congressional candidate Stephanie Murphy released the following statement:

On Monday, John Mica dismissed what Donald Trump said he did as merely ‘locker room talk.’ To be so dismissive of Trump’s bragging about sexual assault is as out of touch as it is dangerous.

“Now that two more brave women have come forward with disturbing stories about Donald Trump, I ask Congressman Mica – do you think what Donald Trump did was sexual assault?

“If Mica doesn’t, then that’s wrong. If he does think it was sexual assault and he continues to support Donald Trump anyway, then that’s just as wrong.

“Congressman Mica’s continued enthusiastic support for Trump proves that he places party loyalty and partisanship over doing the right thing for the women and families he should be putting first.”