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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Murphy gets another gun-reform endorsement as NRA strikes

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter

Richard Graulich / AP/The Palm Beach Post

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter



As the National Rifle Association sets him in its sights, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy picked up another endorsement from a gun-reform group that could lend him some outside campaign and fundraising support.

The Fund to End Gun Violence announced Thursday it was adding Murphy, along with two congressional contenders in California and New York, to its list of endorsed candidates. U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy -- a Connecticut Democrat with no relation to Patrick Murphy -- founded the group to help elect candidates committed to combating gun violence.

"We all remember a time not that long ago when Democrats avoided talking about guns -- especially as candidates in competitive campaigns. But this year has marked a sea change in the fight to reduce gun violence. With 90 percent of voters behind us, Democrats are finally going on offense,” Chris Murphy said in a statement.

He said he was "proud" to support Murphy because he and other candidates endorsed by the Fund have "made ending gun violence cornerstones of their campaigns. By electing more people like them, Congress can finally listen to the will of the people, not the gun lobby."

Meanwhile, the NRA launched a TV and digital ad against Patrick Murphy in Florida this week. The $900,000 ad buy was reflected in an independent expenditure report the NRA's political arm filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The ad -- running in Pensacola, Panama City and Jacksonville -- focuses on Benghazi and highlights Murphy's support for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"Congressman Murphy’s weakness is a threat to your freedom," Mark "Oz" Geist, a retired Marine who survived the 2012 terrorist attack in Libya, says in the ad.

The NRA in July endorsed Murphy's opponent, Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. Earlier this month, the NRA spent about $423,000 on direct-mail pieces supporting Rubio's re-election.

The NRA's TV ad "is nothing more than the gun lobby sending in a reward to their favorite senator who consistently supports their reckless agenda," Murphy spokeswoman Galia Slayen said in a statement.

*This post has been updated with comment from the Murphy campaign.

[Last modified: Friday, September 30, 2016 8:11am]


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