Trump rally draws local candidates


Prior to Trump’s Jacksonville speech, attendees milled about outside Veterans Memorial Arena, snapping up Trump t-shirts, buttons and signature “Make America Great Again” baseball caps. Joining the crowd were a number of candidates running for other offices, including former Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford – who is running for U.S. Congress in the 4th Congressional District – and two of his opponents, Democrat David Bruderly and write-in candidate Dan Murphy.

“I’m the reason he’s in (the race),” Murphy said with a nod at Bruderly, who acknowledged he entered the race when he learned Democrats would not have a candidate from their party on the ballot.

“You knocked me out of my comfort zone,” Bruderly replied, adding he went to the Trump rally hoping to score some support among undecideds. “I’m looking for persuadable voters – people who are not persuaded by either party,” he said. “We have two candidates people don’t like. My pitch is that I’m an independent Democrat and I can work across the aisle with anybody.”Accompanying Bruderly was his “significant other,” Ingrid Prosser. “I’m an artist – I’m not really political,” Prosser said. “I’m also a crossover Republican: My party left me and I feel I have much more in common with David’s philosophy.”

Murphy, meanwhile, said his campaign started as an April Fool’s Joke.

“I sent a letter to the Times-Union, kind of like a Pat Paulson kind of thing,” said Murphy, referring to the comedian who launched a facetious run for president in the 1960s. “Then (U.S. Rep.) Ander Crenshaw dropped out and I thought, ‘Why not?’”

Other candidates seeking the 4th congressional seat include Stephen Kaufman, Ed Malin, Bill McClure, Deborah Katz Pueschel, Lake Ray and Hans Tanzler.