Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), a key moderate, will not run for another term.
Murphy, who co-chairs the Blue Dog Coalition, said Monday she will not seek to continue representing Florida’s 7th Congressional District because she wants to spend more time with her family.
“These last few years have been some of the most rewarding moments of my life, but also some of the most challenging. Public service is not without personal sacrifice, and as a mom of two young children, my time away from them has been hard. For them. For me. And for our family,” Murphy said in a video announcement.
Murphy, 43, has been in office since 2017. A political newcomer when she announced her bid, Murphy knocked off Republican John Mica, who had been in Congress for 12 terms. Murphy won reelection in 2020 with 55 percent of the vote.
More and more Democrats have recently decided against running in 2022, imperiling the party’s aim of keeping slim majorities in both chambers of Congress.
Murphy is the 21st Democrat who plans on stepping down at the end of their term, including 13 Democrats who don’t want to seek another office.
That’s compared to 12 Republicans.
Some long-time members of Congress, including Rep. Peter DeFazio, who has represented Oregonians since 1987, are among those retiring.
Incumbents generally have an easier time winning elections.
The district Murphy represents is, like the other districts in the state, being redrawn by state legislators and the revised version could look much different.
Regardless of the change, Murphy leaving means “Democrats are going to have a much more difficult time keeping it,” Aubrey Jewett, a political science professor at the University of Central Florida, told The Epoch Times.
“We know, historically, the party of the president loses a lot of seats two years into their term—most of the time, there’s a few exceptions. And so that suggests that this this seat would have been a little tougher to keep anyway, but without the incumbent it’s going to be certainly more difficult, and it’s a prime opportunity for Republicans to help in their quest to take over the majority in Washington,” he added.
Democrats’ majority in the House is 221-213, with one vacancy.
Republicans made considerable gains in the 2020 election and expect to flip the lower chamber in 2022, particularly with President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings.
Camille Gallo, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, linked Murphy’s announcement with Democrats failing to deliver on Biden’s so-called build back better agenda.
“Between Build Back Better collapsing and an unmitigated retirement crisis, this is truly Democrats’ nightmare before Christmas,” Gallo said in a statement.
No Democrats have yet announced bids for the seat Murphy holds.
Six Republicans have already launched campaigns, including small business owner Erika Benfield, Navy SEAL Brady Duke, and state Rep. Anthony Sabatini.