Former Rep. Amanda Murphy of New Port Richey is jumping into the Democratic primary for Jack Latvala's old Senate seat.
Murphy, a financial adviser, formally filed to run for Senate District 16 on Wednesday. She cited the Parkland shooting, the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and opposition to special interests in Tallahassee as her motivation for getting in.
"At this time in our state's history and where we are as a nation, we need someone who will look out for hard working people and not special interests," Murphy said. "That's exactly who I've always been, and
that will never change."
Murphy previously served in the House of Representatives from 2013 to 2016. She won a Pasco-based seat in a special election to replace Republican Mike Fasano, who Gov. Rick Scott tapped to become Pasco County Tax Collector.
She was defeated in 2016 by then 21-year-old Amber Mariano.
Democrat Bernie Fensterwald, an unsuccessful candidate for House in 2016, has already filed to run.
On the Republican side, former Rep. Ed Hooper of Clearwater is running against Ilir Karruli.
Just hours after Murphy announced, Hooper picked up the endorsement of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Murphy cited an internal poll from earlier this year that shows her with a 3-point lead over Hooper.
In 2016, Republican voters outnumbered Democrats in the district by nearly 20,000.