The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched a new advertising blitz to support U.S. Rep. John Mica‘s re-election campaign in Florida’s 7th Congressional District with a blistering new TV commercial painting Democratic nominee Stephanie Murphy as a Washington insider and friend of Iran.

The 30-second commercial, “Mystery,” declares “Stephanie Murphy is the mystery candidate. But her mentor’s not a mystery. It’s Nancy Pelosi. Where did Pelosi find Stephanie Murphy? In Washington. She was educated in Washington. Government job in Washington. And now she describes her job as ‘government affairs.’ Otherwise known as ‘lobbying.’ Now Murphy wants to help Pelosi prop up Iran with billions. That’s her platform. Reject Pelosi. Reject Iran. Reject Stephanie Murphy.”

As that narrative unfolds, the commercial shows pictures of Murphy and Pelosi superimposed on Iranian billboards, with Persian writing underneath.

Murphy already has responded with a tweet Thursday morning, stating, “As Mica & his allies launch false personal attacks (calling me a mystery candidate), I assure them: no mystery here.” The tweet links to a campaign meme declaring her support for protecting women’s rights, passing commonsense gun laws, and standing up for seniors and veterans.

This is the first major outside boost for Mica in the campaign. Murphy has received more than $4 million in support from the NRCC’s counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and other Democratic groups, who have bombarded Orlando airwaves for weeks with anti-Mica advertising.

Filings Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission show the NRCC reporting spending $687,000 to oppose Murphy in CD 7. A spokesman for the committee said they have another $965,000 available for the campaign.

The DCCC so far has spent $3,071,511 in the race, supporting Murphy or attacking Mica. Other groups have chipped in too, including the Democratic Senate Majority Fund, which has spent $981,000. Mica’s next-biggest outside supporter, so far, has been the National Rifle Association’s Institute For Legislative Affairs, which has provided about $40,000 toward mailers attacking Murphy.

“Stephanie Murphy is a D.C. insider who worked as a lobbyist and supports dangerous policies like the Iran nuclear deal,” NRCC spokesman Chris Pack stated in web post announcing the new commercial. “The last thing Florida families need is to have Stephanie Murphy in Washington being a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi’s extreme agenda.”

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@flordiapolitics.com or scottmichaelpowers@yahoo.com.

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