On June 23, Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy of Florida’s 18th Congressional District walked onto the pitcher’s mound at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. for the Congressional Baseball Game with hopes of beating the Republicans for the eighth year in a row.

In fact, all he needed to do was hold the Democrats’ 7-6 lead for one more inning, and they would have yet another W in their column.

Unfortunately for Murphy, many millennials in the crowd (myself included) were sick and tired of the Democratic Party’s positions that have consistently pushed to decrease the amount of money spent on our nation’s military; increase spending on broken and ineffective government programs; continue the barrage of attacks to gnaw away at our constitutional freedoms and liberties; and, of course, how they kept beating us in baseball every year.

It looked like a surefire win for Murphy and the Democrats until we brought out our secret weapon — a senator who wasn’t even at the ballpark.

The Republican side of the stadium erupted into chants of “MAR-CO RU-BIO,” the Republican senator from Florida who had announced just 24 hours earlier that he would seek re-election to the United States Senate. Just like that, the game was all tied up at 7-7.

Murphy tried to play it cool, but sure enough, with only one out remaining in the final inning of the game and the Republican side of the stadium chanting the name of Murphy’s biggest challenger louder and louder by the second, he pitched to another Floridian, Republican Rep. Tom Rooney, who drove a ball deep into right field and batted in Sen. Jeff Flake from Arizona for the first Republican victory since President Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009.

Marco Rubio undoubtedly helped the Republicans beat Patrick Murphy and the Democrats in that charity baseball game, but there will be much more on the line than just bragging rights in the upcoming Nov. 8 matchup between the two congressmen.

With this being the first general election many millennials have ever had the ability to vote in, it is once again time for us to get up and show our support for Sen. Rubio so we can continue to have a principled leader representing our great state in the United States Senate.

As is the case for many Floridians, the United States is not the country where I was born. My parents chose to immigrate here from Brazil when I was just a baby, leaving all their friends, family, and possessions thousands of miles away.

They didn’t come here because they thought that life would be easy.

My parents walked away from the lives they lived in Brazil because they knew that in this country, unlike any other in the world, citizens of every race, religion, and walk of life had the ability to leave a better life for their children than the one they inherited.

That same American dream that brought my family here to this country remains alive, but only thanks to conservative leaders like Sen. Rubio who consistently defends it by limiting intrusions by the federal government in our day-to-day lives, promoting free enterprise, voting to strengthen our national defense, and protecting our constitutional freedoms from assaults by Democrats like Patrick Murphy.

Sen. Rubio has stood out as one of the most inspiring and humble elected officials in this country, and from all the years he has dedicated to serving the people of Florida, the best is still to come from him.

Ultimately, this November, the choice we all face is: who are we willing to trust for the next six years to be effective under pressure and close out the game, Marco Rubio or Patrick Murphy?

Millennials will stand with Rubio.

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Richard El-Rassy grew up in Orlando and is now a senior majoring in finance and minoring in Italian studies at the University of Florida, where he serves as chair of the UF College Republicans.

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