U.S. Congresswoman-elect Stephanie Murphy announced Tuesday she intends to join the two moderate-Democrat organizations in Congress, the Blue Dog Coalition and the New Democrat Coalition.

Murphy said the coalitions – the New Democrats promote small business, the Blue Dogs, fiscal conservatism – “align with her goals of strengthening Central Florida’s growing entrepreneurial and small business sectors, keeping our nation secure, and ensuring fiscal discipline in Congress.”

Murphy, of Winter Park, was elected Nov. 8 in an upset victory over 12-term U.S. Rep. John Mica, also of Winter Park, in Florida’s 7th Congressional District. The district, which includes north-central and Orange County and all of the largely-suburban Seminole County, had been a Republican stronghold for decades until redistricting and an evolving electorate changed it to purple this year.

“When I take office on January 3, I want to hit the ground running to help strengthen our economy, keep our nation safe, and bring fiscal discipline back to Congress,” Murphy stated in a news release. “I campaigned on a new approach – on working with both Democrats and Republicans to get things done. Both the New Dems and the Blue Dogs have strong reputations for reaching across the aisle and putting good public policy over partisan politics. That’s exactly what I’ll do in Congress.”

The combined membership of the New Democrat Coalition and the Blue Dog Coalition represents more than one-third of the Democratic caucus.

Both coalitions have strong bipartisan reputations and a history of working with Republicans. Murphy said she will work with her New Dem colleagues to advocate legislation that strengthens our nation’s middle class and will work with her Blue Dog colleagues to help introduce No Budget, No Pay, which says Members of Congress must pass a budget and appropriations bills on time or they don’t get paid.

“There is a lot of uncertainty facing our country in the next few years, and there is too much on the line for partisan politics to derail our progress. When I see offensive rhetoric or where I disagree with a proposal, I will oppose them in the strongest possible terms. But, where I can find common ground, I will do so,” said Murphy. “Despite the challenging political environment, I’ll also continue to fight for issues I care deeply about, such as commonsense gun laws, access to women’s health care, comprehensive immigration reform, efforts to curb climate change, and protecting our seniors and veterans.”

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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