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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dolphins, Rays owners back Murphy, but Lightning, Magic owners side with Rubio

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeffrey Vinik is backing U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's re-election

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeffrey Vinik is backing U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's re-election

4

November

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is a big Miami Dolphins fan, but the owner of the franchise may not be as big of a fan of his it turns out.

Campaign finance reports show that in September Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, a Republican, donated $50,000 to a political action committee supporting Rep. Patrick Murphy, the Democrat seeking to beat Rubio next week. Ross also donated $5,400 to Murphy’s main campaign committee in August 2015.

He’s hardly the only sports franchise owner weighing into the U.S. Senate race between Murphy and Rubio.

- Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg is also backing Murphy. Campaign finance records show he donated $5,400 to Murphy, though Murphy’s campaign listed Sternberg’s company as the “Tampa Bay Devil Rays.” The franchise dropped the “Devil” from its name just before the 2008 season.

- Micky Arison, owner of the Miami Heat and chairman of Carnival Corporation, sent $4,000 toward Murphy’s Senate campaign in September 2015.

- Orlando Magic owner Richard DeVos and his family are clearly big Rubio fans. On June 30, DeVos, his wife and his children combined to send Rubio $54,000.

- And Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeffrey Vinik in August donated $20,000 to a political action committee Rubio runs called the Florida First Project. Vinik and his wife also donated $5,400 through a pair of donations in July to Rubio’s Senate campaign.

While Rubio’s hometown Dolphins may not be backing him, he’s getting big help from another NFL owner. Robert McNair, chairman of the Houston Texas gave Rubio $5,400 in August. That is in addition to $494,000 McNair gave to a political action committee that backed Rubio’s run for the White House.

[Last modified: Friday, November 4, 2016 1:31pm]

    

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