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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The story of Patrick Murphy's childhood he hasn't shared before

Patrick Erin Murphy, at age 6 fishing in the Florida Keys

Courtesy of Patrick Murphy's U.S. Senate campaign.

Patrick Erin Murphy, at age 6 fishing in the Florida Keys

Patrick Murphy talks frequently on the campaign trail about income inequality and the middle class.

It can seem like a tone-deaf talking point, coming from a two-term U.S. congressman whose personal and political success has largely been borne from his South Florida millionaire family.

After all, how could someone who grew up attending elite private schools, had guaranteed job security through a family business and whose father has helped bankroll his political career ever relate to the average Floridian?

While his family’s wealth and influence has certainly boosted Murphy’s career, there’s actually more to the upbringing of this Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate than he has let on before.

The son of divorced parents, Murphy as a toddler lived for a time with a single mother who was addicted to drugs. Th conditions grew so bad that his paternal grandfather took him away from his mother so Murphy could be raised by his father instead.

Murphy’s formative childhood years were spent moving around the Florida Keys, as the construction company his dad founded grew. During that time, he didn’t see his birth mother much as she grappled with her addiction.

It wasn’t really until he was entering his teenage years that Murphy saw the comforts of stability and wealth that his father’s success produced. By then, Murphy’s own hard work was paving a path for his future.

The story of his earliest years is a part of Murphy’s life that he’s kept guarded until now. He shared the details for the first time publicly with the Times/Herald in recent interviews, three months before a contentious Democratic primary that will decide whether Murphy — considered a front-runner in the race to replace Marco Rubio — advances to the general election in November.

Read the full story here.

[Last modified: Friday, June 3, 2016 12:10pm]


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