Patrick Murphy: The Only 2012 Candidate With Campaign Contributions From Charlie Crist

Former Gov. Charlie Crist certainly has plenty of friends and enemies across Florida, but we now know who he's a fan of in the 2012 elections: congressional candidate Patrick Murphy.

Murphy -- a Democrat who's touted having the highest fundraising totals of any congressional challenger in the current election cycle -- is the most recent recipient of Crist's cash since Sen. John McCain's unsuccessful presidential bid in 2008.

According to Murphy's filings with the Federal Election Commission, Crist has given two $1,000 checks to the Murphy campaign committee -- one at the end of March, the other at the end of June.

The FEC records show that Crist -- aside from donating to his own campaign for U.S. Senate -- also donated to Mel Martinez's U.S. Senate campaign in 2004, Gus Bilirakis' congressional campaign in 2005, Connie Mack's congressional campaign in 2004, 2005, and 2006, as well as former President George W. Bush's reelection campaign in 2003.

As you may know, all of the preceding candidates Crist donated to ended up winning those elections.

Murphy's a political newcomer, but he's been picking up steam in his bid to upset Rep. Allen West: He raised $450,000 in the second quarter of this year, on top of the $350,000 he reported raising in the first -- the most by any congressional challenger in the nation.

He'll still have to face the challenge of the primary election, in which he'll have to defeat former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel to get a crack at West.

Murphy managed to outraise Frankel over the last quarter by about $16,000, which isn't too shabby for someone who's new to the game running against an established local politician.

Still, if there's a Crist-contribution connection to winning elections, we're sure Murphy would like to take advantage of that.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley