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Murphy thankful for Republican dysfunction

Newly sworn-in Rep. Amanda Murphy, a lifelong Democrat, drew grimaces in the Republican dominated House in her opening comments to the chamber on Tuesday.

“I want to thank Gov. Scott for appointing Mike Fasano tax collector,” Murphy said before breaking into a giggle fit. “He may regret doing so, but I thank him.”

Republican Fasano alienated many Pasco County Republicans, including House Speaker Will Weatherford, when he served in the House, a reliable critic of far right legislation during the past few sessions.

Scott and other Pasco County Republicans, including Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, who is set to become Speaker in 2016, orchestrated Fasano leaving the House to take the tax collector job last year, opening up his New Port Richey seat. Rather than support the Republican candidate, Bill Gunter, to succeed  him, however, Fasano backed Murphy -- further alienating Corcoran and Republicans and helping her to victory last year

Murphy, however, didn’t dwell on Fasano.

“Kidding aside, I appreciate the warm welcome,” Murphy told her new colleagues in the House. She stressed her eagerness to work with Republicans on issues that affect her New Port Richey district: low wages, homelessness, sink holes, flood insurance.”

“Well said,” Weatherford said after Murphy concluded her speech.