Questions over the fate of Guantanamo Bay are likely to resonate in next year’s U.S. Senate general election, and already Republicans are targeting Democrat Patrick Murphy for votes in support of closing the facility.
The research group America Rising — jumping on the disclosure of a memo from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — suggests the issue could play in Florida and a number of other states with closely-watched Senate races.
The group noted several votes this year in which Rep. Murphy voted on the side of people trying to shutter Gitmo.
“The Congressman's votes speak for themselves,” spokeswoman Erin M. Hale told the Tampa Bay Times. “As a member of the Intelligence Committee, he believes that closing Guantanamo will improve our security by depriving ISIL and other terrorist groups an effective recruiting tool and supports giving the President the flexibility to close Guantanamo.”
Murphy, who is the favorite in the Democratic primary, would face opponents with different opinions on the issue.
Rep. David Jolly, a Republican running for the seat being vacated by Marco Rubio, this week sought to highlight his work to hinder President Obama’s ability to close the base.
And Rep. Ron DeSantis, another GOP candidate, earlier this year offered up the Guantanamo Bay Recidivism Prevention Act.
The Obama administration last month released five more men from the prison, putting the detainee population at 107.
--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times