Update 12:55 p.m. | Rep. Alan Grayson's campaign reacted quickly Friday to Democratic Senate primary opponent Rep. Patrick Murphy's comparison of him to Donald Trump, pointing out that Murphy's father's construction company had built two major projects for the real estate mogul who's leading Republican presidential polls.
"Murphy's family construction business — where he used to work, where his daddy's money comes from, and in which he owns a share worth $1 million to $5 million — has a business relationship with Donald Trump. How much money has Donald Trump put in Patrick Murphy's pocket?" Grayson adviser Kevin Franck replied in an email to CQ Roll Call.
Franck provided links to two Florida condominium projects highlighted on Coastal Construction Group of South Florida's website — the 42-story oceanfront Trump Hollywood and the 55-story Trump Royale. Murphy at one time worked for the family business.
In a fundraising email earlier Friday, Murphy's campaign called Grayson Florida's version of Trump — the bombastic businessman who has turned the Republican presidential race upside down.
"Donald Trump has been dominating headlines, spouting nonsense and picking fights on Twitter like a schoolyard bully," Murphy's campaign said in a fundraising email Friday morning. "Here in Florida, we’ve got our own Trump: Patrick’s primary opponent, Alan Grayson."
The letter went on to quote MSNBC's Rachel Maddow's assertion that Grayson "has a Donald Trump-esque sense of self."
"I think that's putting it mildly," the mailing concurred.
The fundraising email is just the latest in what's been a bitter back-and-forth between the two lawmakers as they vie for their party's nomination in Florida's open Senate seat. The race is crucial for Democrats, who are looking to ensure Senate control by netting five seats in 2016.
Operatives from both parties expected the Democratic primary could devolve into ugly infighting when Grayson, a notoriously outspoken congressman, entered the race . But with Florida's primary a year away, the sniping has started even earlier than many expected.
Last week, Grayson attacked Murphy in two fundraising emails, saying that Murphy took contributions from Wall Street.
Murphy's campaign fired back, calling Grayson a hypocrite by pointing out that Grayson held a Wall Street fundraiser the same day he sent the Murphy attack emails.
National Democrats squarely back Murphy, who they feel is the more electable Democrat in the swingy Sunshine State.
Florida's Senate contest is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call.
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