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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Patrick Murphy won't commit to town-hall meetings

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

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

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

6

August

While Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson plans to host a town-hall meeting in Miami Dade County on Saturday afternoon, his main primary opponent, Patrick Murphy, won't commit to holding any for his campaign.

"We've been doing all sorts of events, as you've seen here," Murphy said Friday afternoon -- following a private fundraiser and an unannounced campaign stop with Vice President Joe Biden at a small, local restaurant, which was largely occupied by invited guests and Democratic supporters of Murphy's.

"I've been doing dozens and dozens of events around the state, all sorts of sizes, meeting as many people as humanly possible," said Murphy, a two-term congressman from Jupiter, who's the front-runner in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the party establishment's favored choice.

When pressed on whether town-hall meetings, specifically, were in his plans, Murphy said: "Call them whatever you want. We meet people all the time, doing events, going to restaurants like this. I'm running a grassroots campaign, going left to right, up and down from Key West to Pensacola, meeting people."

Murphy offered a similar non-committal answer to a Times reporter on Thursday -- a day after Murphy backed out of the only scheduled debate with Grayson ahead of the Aug. 30 primary. (Murphy said he didn't want to give Grayson a platform for his campaign, because Grayson's ex-wife recently accused him of domestic abuse during their 25-year marriage that was annulled last year.)

Aside from the Biden events, Murphy's campaign announced just two events this week, both on Thursday: a press conference in Tampa announcing the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and an Orlando press conference with a parent of a Pulse shooting victim to criticize Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio over gun control reform.

Town-hall meetings typically involve an elected official or politician interacting directly with their constituents by taking their questions and providing answers in a public setting with an audience.

Grayson is from Orlando. His event on Saturday begins at 4 p.m. at the Stadium Hotel in Miami Gardens. The topic is on the Zika virus -- for which Miami is Ground Zero for the first local transmissions in the U.S. -- and what Grayson calls "the wholly inadequate public health response from the federal government and state of Florida."

[Last modified: Friday, August 5, 2016 6:54pm]

    

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