Editorial: Thanks, Murph!Steve Murphy has such a passion for politics we find it hard to believe he's really leaving the Minnesota Senate.
By: R-E Editorial Board, The Republican Eagle
Steve Murphy has such a passion for politics we find it hard to believe he's really leaving the Minnesota Senate.
Even as today's headlines carry the news of his would-be DFL successor and set the stage for a heated autumn campaign in District 28, we suspect Murphy could win re-election if he launched a write-in campaign. He's got that kind of local following.
"Murph," as the 52-year-old Red Wing man is known, emerged on the scene in 1992 and quickly captured his fellow citizens' imaginations. He had a storied history, some will recall, as an in-your-face baseball player and tough Marine. He spoke openly about his shortcomings, mistakes and weaknesses — including alcohol addiction — and pledged to serve to the best of his ability with constituents always in mind.
He certainly lived up to his promises.
He acknowledges that he made mistakes along the way - for example, he later wished he hadn't voted to define marriage as only between a man and a woman - but his very humanness is part of his appeal.
Too many politicians can't or won't apologize. Murphy isn't one of them.
Over the years Murphy became a vociferous debater, dramatic spokesman and colorful politician. The Capitol press corps sat with poised pens when he took to the floor.
Contrast that style with the quiet, thoughtful man he is, too, and you can understand why Red Wing area voters kept him in office 18 years and why so many were stunned when he declared the 2010 session would be his last.
Murphy wielded considerable power in his final years, specifically as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. That he used that power judiciously on behalf of the district and the state adds to his mystique.
He and this newspaper certainly knocked heads over the years. We like to think all parties involved — including the communities we both serve — are better for the experience.
Murphy has promised to stay active and engaged after he leaves office Jan. 1. We expect nothing less from this man of passionate convictions and we look forward to the continuing debate.