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Sen. Murphy Raises Millions For 'Fight Back Connecticut' Effort

J. Scott Applewhite

Democratic U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut raised more than $3 million in mostly small donations from around the country in the first three months of the year.

Murphy, a first-term U.S. senator, is up for re-election next year. As yet he has no Republican challenger. So he says he’ll channel the millions of dollars he’s raised into mobilizing opposition to President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans. Murphy calls the effort “Fight Back Connecticut.”

”I want to help activists mobilize themselves so that we can make sure that Trump’s immigration policies, his backwards healthcare and environmental policies that they don’t end up hurting us in the state.”

Murphy says he’ll be hiring professional staffers to help harness the grassroots anti-Trump energy. Scott McLean is a Quinnipiac University political science professor who studies Congress. He says there’s more to what Murphy is doing.

“Let’s get one thing straight about this entire enterprise. This is about Chris Murphy showing that he can be a contender for the presidency in 2020.”

McLean says this is an opportunity for Murphy to test the waters.

“Can he be not just a voice for progressive movements and candidates but can he also raise the cash. And can he raise the cash should he decide to run for the presidency.”

McLean says Murphy is low on the list of Democrats in contention for 2020.

“But I think the field is open for him and this is an ingredient that he needs to show that he belongs in that group.”

Some of Murphy’s Senate colleagues in that group include Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

This story originally stated that Sen. Murphy is raising money for a Super PAC. A spokesperson for Sen. Murphy says that Fight Back Connecticut is the name of the organizing effort launched by his re-election campaign in the state. It is not a Super PAC.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.