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Roll Call: Stephanie Murphy Defeats GOP’s Mica in Florida’s 7th District

November 8, 2016

Roll Call: Stephanie Murphy Defeats GOP's Mica in Florida’s 7th District

By John T. Bennett

Democrat Stephanie Murphy will defeat incumbent Republican Rep. John L. Mica in Florida’s 7th District, The Associated Press projects. 

Murphy led Mica 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent with 98 percent of precincts reporting. 

This was Mica's first competitive re-election in decades. After the state Supreme Court redrew Florida's congressional lines, his 7th District became more Democratic. And for the first time in years, Democrats succeeded in fielding a strong candidate against the 12-term incumbent.

Republicans fretted this fall that Mica wasn't expending the time or resources to introduce himself to new voters in his redrawn district. He only recently aired his first TV spot, trailing Murphy and other Democratic groups that had been on the air earlier. 

While Mica had previously coasted to double-digit victories, his nonchalance this year earned him a spot on Roll Call's list of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents for the first time this October. Sensing his vulnerability, the National Republican Congressional Committee made a late investment in this race to try to hold the seat. 

Coming into Election Day, the race was rated Tilts Democratic by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.