An inspiring first generation American leader
Stephanie Murphy ran for re-election to continue her fight to expand economic and educational opportunities for all. Stephanie was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. After the fall of Saigon, she’s said, “Families associated with the South Vietnamese and American governments, like my own, were at risk of being sent to re-education camps and subjected to forced labor, torture, starvation and disease.” When she was just six months old, her family escaped Vietnam on a tugboat that ran out of fuel, leaving them stranded on the South China Sea. The U.S. Navy rescued them and helped them reach a refugee camp in Malaysia, from which Stephanie’s family ultimately immigrated to Virginia with the help of a local church. Stephanie and her family came to America seeking freedom and opportunity, and she is committed to helping others live out the American dream. Stephanie’s parents worked at a power plant and tile manufacturer during the day and cleaned office buildings at night, and she became the first woman in her family ever to go to college. After graduation, Stephanie began a career in the private sector until the events of September 11th motivated her to pursue a career in public service and to earn a master’s degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She served as a national security specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she received numerous awards, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, and she has served as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Stephanie re-entered the private sector when she moved to Winter Park, Florida, where she still lives today with her husband Sean and their two young children, Liem and Maya. She worked as an executive and taught finance and social entrepreneurship at Rollins College before successfully running to flip a seat and represent Florida’s 7th Congressional District.
A national security expert helping Floridians get a fair shot
“America’s greatness is not an abstract concept to me,” Stephanie has said. “I didn’t discover it from words on a page or lyrics in an anthem. My patriotism is the product of a life lesson instilled by U.S. service members who showed grace to desperate strangers at a time when they needed it most.” As a former national security specialist with experience working on counterterrorism issues, Stephanie is committed to confronting threats abroad without undermining our values. After Donald Trump issued his executive order on immigration, she spoke out strongly in opposition, arguing that it would only serve to “violate fundamental American values and undermine our national security. We must work,” she said, “in a bipartisan manner to strengthen our refugee policy in a way that keeps us secure and upholds our values.” Stephanie has called education “the single biggest factor changing the course” of her life, and is deeply committed to expanding access to education for all. As a former business executive and educator, Stephanie cares deeply about growing Florida’s economy and creating jobs to help working families get ahead. One of the first pieces of legislation that she cosponsored in Congress was a bill to support entrepreneurship among women scientists. Stephanie is pro-choice and firmly committed to fighting to protect a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health care decisions, and fights back against the GOP’s dangerous attempts to roll back Americans’ access to the health care they need.
A re-election victory for a rising star
Stephanie is a rising star in the Democratic Party, with an invaluable combination of personal and professional experience and expertise. In 2016, Stephanie ran in a newly-drawn district evenly split between Democrats and Republicans following court-ordered redistricting. She ran a strong grassroots campaign, and flipped this seat to bring new leadership to Washington in what the Orlando Sentinel called a “stunning upset.” She ran another strong, successful grassroots campaign in 2018 and was elected to a second term. The EMILY’s List community is proud to support this fighter for Florida working families.