POLITICIAN OF THE YEAR
Florida is sending 10 new members to the U.S. House of Representatives this year.
The 10 “freshman” representatives in Florida’s Congressional delegation include (clockwise from top left) Val Demings, Neal Dunn, Stephanie Murphy, John Rutherford and Matt Gaetz.
after 16 years in Congress. Voters up and down the I-4 corridor also decided to send a new class of representatives to the nation’s capital. In Florida’s 13th Congressional District, former Gov. Charlie Crist defeated Rep. David Jolly after a testy congressional race. Democrat Val Demings won the race to replace Republican Rep. Daniel Webster in Florida’s 10th Congressional District. Have no fear, Webster will remain in the U.S. House. He ran — and won — in Florida’s 11th Congressional District. But perhaps the most stunning victory came in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, where Democrat Stephanie Murphy defeated Rep. John Mica. The 12-term Republican congressman easily beat Democratic opponents in the past, but newly drawn congressional districts made his district a little less friendly to Republicans this time around. Just an infant when her family fled Vietnam in a boat, Murphy is an Orlando-area businesswoman with a background in national security. “I always say it was the greatest honor of my life, to be able to work alongside uniformed men and women, knowing that they rescued me at sea,” she said in an interview with Florida Politics in November. ][
WINTER 2016 INFLUENCE | 137
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