Murphy Eyes Iowa 1st District Opening

By James Lynch, Reporter

Iowa Speaker of the House Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, takes the oath of office as his wife Teri looks on during the opening day of the Iowa legislature, Monday, Jan. 12, 2009, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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By Ellen Kurt

DES MOINES, Iowa – Former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy plans to run for a seat in the U.S. House if his congressman, Rep. Bruce Braley, runs for the Senate.

Braley is considering a 2014 campaign for the open Senate seat when Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin retires at the end of this current term.

“I’ll wait for Rep. Braley to make his decision,” Murphy said at the Iowa Capitol Jan. 31. “If he runs, I will make a declaration I intend to run.”

Murphy, 53, considered running in 2006, but he and his wife, Teri, decided the time wasn’t right. His four children are grown now. He did step down from leadership to position himself for an opportunity to run for Congress should it arise. Braley won a three-way primary and was elected in 2006.

Murphy expects he won’t be the only 1st District Democrat interested in succeeding Braley. He believes his leadership experience as minority leader and speaker of the House, as well as his 24 years in the House give him the credentials to serve in Congress.

“I think we need to focus on middle-class families,” he said. Both Braley and Harkin are strong voices for the middle class, which he said is under attack.

Murphy, who said he won’t resign his House seat if he runs for Congress, is familiar with the 1st District that includes Marshalltown, Decorah, Waterloo-Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids in addition to Dubuque.

“I’ve done fundraisers and candidate recruitment and helped candidates all over the district,” he said.

Murphy is a 1977 Dubuque Wahlert High School. He majored in speech and minored in history and political science at Loras College. He has owned his own business and worked in various capacities at Mercy Health Center, CyCare Systems Inc., Hillcrest Family Services and more recently as a faculty member at Northeast Iowa Community College.

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