Murphy lays groundwork for U.S. Congress run

The domino effect from the announcement of the retirement of Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, made its way to Marshalltown Wednesday.

Rep. Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, former Iowa House speaker, said he would run for the U.S. Congress 1st District seat currently held by Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, if Braley decides to run for the open U.S. Senate seat in 2014.

“If Congressman Braley makes an announcement, I’m putting together a committee to run for Congress,” Murphy said.

Murphy spoke at the Marshall County Democratic Party Central Committee meeting Wednesday at Fisher Community Center. All signs are pointing to Murphy returning to Marshalltown often as part of his congressional campaign in the future, so he was able to make connections with local party leaders Wednesday.

Murphy is in his 24th year in the Iowa House and thought about running for Congress in 2005, but decided against it. With his four children now grown adults, a congressional run in 2014 works out for him.

“The time is right,” Murphy said.

He said there are many national issues to address such as the sustainability of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. As a member of the U.S. Congress, Murphy said he would also fight for the middle class.

“I think the middle class has been under attack by the Republican Party at the national level,” he said.

Some of the accomplishments he was proud to get done as House speaker were the preschool program, expansion of Hawk-I and work on civil rights for the state.

“I have a history of getting things done at the state level and want to get things done in Washington,” Murphy said.

Murphy said if Braley announces his candidacy for U.S. Senate, he would announce his candidacy for U.S. Congress within seven to 10 days. He already is talking about the June 2014 primary election.

He said he would be seeing more of Marshalltown as it is one of the four population hubs of the 1st Congressional District.