Murphy, Jolly drop bid for Florida governor

In Florida’s race for governor, Democrat Patrick Murphy and Republican David Jolly are out.

They considered running in the Democratic race on a unity ticket, with Murphy running for governor and Jolly for lieutenant governor.    

Thursday afternoon, Murphy said that won’t happen. Instead, he endorsed Democrat Gwen Graham at a rally in Pembroke Pines.

The Graham campaign released the following statements from Murphy and Graham: 

“I have decided not to enter the race for governor because there is one Democratic candidate already demonstrating the leadership Florida needs and fighting for the values we share - and that Democrat is Gwen Graham,” Murphy said. “I’m proud to support Gwen because she’s determined to expand access to affordable health care in Florida, will always stand up to protect Florida’s environment, and will finally give our public schools the attention and leadership our children, families and teachers deserve,” 

“I’m proud to call Patrick Murphy a close friend and am honored to have his support. In Congress, we worked together to ban oil drilling off Florida’s beaches and to restore the Everglades,” Graham said. “I was proud to support him in his campaign against Marco Rubio and, as governor, I will work with Patrick to restore our promise to public schools, protect our environment and build an economy that works for every Floridian.”

While Murphy and Jolly decided not to run, the Democrats still have a crowded field of candidates.

South Florida real estate investor Jeff Greene entered the race this week, becoming the fifth leading candidate in the race. Meanwhile, two leading Republicans, Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis are ramping up their campaigns in the GOP race for governor.