Jupiter Democrat Patrick Murphy scooped up the endorsement Tuesday of the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund in his U.S. Senate race, with both the organization and congressman drawing sharp contrasts with Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.
Tiernan Sittenfeld of the league called Murphy, “The only candidate who can defeat climate-change denier Marco Rubio.”
Murphy, a two-term congressman, touted his support for federal funding of efforts to restore the Everglades and reduce pollution from Lake Okeechobee discharges. He said that “protecting our environment is central to my campaign for the Senate.”
While Tuesday’s focus was on Rubio, who earned a score of zero from the league last year, Murphy still has to clear a five-way Democratic primary for his party’s nomination on Aug. 30.
His leading rival, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando, wasted no time pointing out that Murphy joined a Republican-led vote in favor of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project, opposed by President Obama.
Grayson also earned higher ratings than Murphy from the league last year and also over the course of their time in Congress. Murphy, however, has been tapped as the Democratic establishment’s choice in Florida’s Senate race, and many organizations seem to be falling in line.
“Grayson and his 97 percent LCV lifetime rating shows he’s the true environmental defender in this race. Murphy’s 80 percent rating, for a Democrat, is an embarrassment,” said Michael Ceraso, Grayson’s campaign manager.