Our view: Murphy, the veteran, can still get it doneDNT EDITORIAL BOARD ENDORSEMENT: Anyone suspecting Rep. Mary Murphy has lost her passion and her desire after 36 years in the Minnesota Legislature can consider the moments and days that followed June’s massive and destructive floods.
Anyone suspecting Rep. Mary Murphy has lost her passion and her desire after 36 years in the Minnesota Legislature can consider the moments and days that followed June’s massive and destructive floods.
The torrential rains had barely stopped pelting the region when Murphy sped away from her safe, dry home and maneuvered around detours and washed-away roads to get to Thomson. The township was particularly hard hit, she was told. The people there needed her help. A day later Murphy was front and center at the Carlton County transportation building alongside other elected and nonelected community leaders at one of the first — if not the first — public informational and assessment meetings. And in August she was in St. Paul for a special session, fighting to help secure $168 million in state aid. She and others had heard proposals as low as
$26 million even though damage estimates were north of $200 million. The state had to step up and do its part. Murphy helped to make sure it did.
Murphy never has been a grandstander. And she once again is the best choice to represent District 3B in the Minnesota House, a district that includes Two Harbors, Hermantown, Proctor, Knife River, a bit of the city of Duluth and surrounding townships.
“I’d rather not retire,” Murphy said in an interview yesterday with the News Tribune Opinion page. “I still make a difference. And as long as I still make a difference I’m eager to serve.”
Murphy vowed to continue doing all she can to make a positive difference for flood victims. The help they’ll need is far from addressed. Some aren’t even yet aware of the full magnitude of the damage they suffered.
In a similar way she fought to make sure the state’s every-10-years redrawing of political boundaries was completed fairly. She was a key part of last year’s bipartisan redistricting panel and is proud that no lawmaker was pushed out or left without a district.
“I work with people. I have good friendships with both sides of the aisle,” she said.
In addition to redistricting, another example of that is her work side-by-side with Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville, to update and modernize the state’s data privacy and data practices laws to make sure they reflect and address the latest technologies.
Murphy is challenged for the second time in as many elections by Republican Keith MacDonald, an insurance salesman and a former mayor of Hermantown. His term in office was marred by his arrest at Miller Hall Mall in 2008 for violating a restraining order prohibiting him from coming in contact with his one-time fiancée.
“It was an unfortunate incident. I certainly can say I’ve never abused any woman, not verbally and not physically,” MacDonald told members of the newspaper’s editorial board. “I do feel my background has prepared me to be a state representative. I do feel I can do a good job at it. I just feel I’m a well-rounded candidate.”
Perhaps, but Rep. Murphy offers the best choice to voters.
“I’ve learned how to do the job well,” she said. “When you can do something that touches a life or changes the life of someone, it’s the greatest vocation you can have. It’s a great responsibility. And it is so important.”
Also, “There’s been so much turnover in the House and Senate,” she said. “We don’t have as many long-serving people as we used to. We need some people with historic knowledge to maintain a balance.”