- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Rep. Patrick Murphy says he refuses to debate Rep. Alan Grayson after the Florida Democrat’s ex-wife alleged that he physically abused her over a two-decade period.

Mr. Murphy, the Democratic front-runner to unseat Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, said that after speaking with domestic abuse victims, he’s decided that he cannot “in good conscience” give Mr. Grayson the opportunity to promote his campaign.

“Over the last week, I have heard from many people, including survivors of domestic abuse, that Alan Grayson’s continued presence in this race is an insult to the countless Floridians whose lives have been affected by this kind of violence,” Mr. Murphy said in a statement Wednesday, obtained by The Hill. “When a survivor of domestic abuse comes forward, we owe it to them to listen with an open heart.

Alan Grayson has refused to address these issues,” the statement read. “Alan Grayson’s words and actions have disqualified him from public service, and I cannot in good conscience give him a platform to promote himself and his campaign. As a result, I will not participate in any forums or debates with Alan Grayson.”

The two were scheduled to tape a debate next week to air Aug. 12, The Hill reported.

The statement was timed for release to coincide with a press conference given by Mr. Grayson and Pam Keith, a third Democrat in the race, to call on Mr. Murphy to agree to more debates, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

The statement comes after Mr. Grayson’s ex-wife Lolita released documents to Politico showing that between 1994 and 2014, she went to police at least four times with accusations of domestic abuse.

Mr. Grayson denied ever beating his ex-wife, calling the allegations “ridiculous,” and he has refused calls to drop out of the race. Four staffers, along with his fundraising and mail vendor, Revolution Messaging, quit his Senate campaign last week following the allegations. Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee also rescinded their endorsements.

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