Public Office: State House of Representatives, 1998 to 2002; State Senate, 2002 to 2006; Member of Congress, 2006 to present
Current Position: Member of Congress, 5th Congressional District
Background: Murphy is comfortably in his second term in Congress after improbably unseating longtime incumbent Republican Nancy Johnson in 2006.
Considered an up-and-comer, in 2009 he was appointed co-chair of the Frontline Program, the House Democrats’ mentoring system for vulnerable freshmen this year.
While Republicans have lusted after Murphy’s seat, he has insured district goodwill by spending large amounts of time there meeting constituents. He kicked off this re-election campaign with a “41 towns in 41 days” tour – visiting every community in the district.
Murphy has often found himself squeezed between his fiscally conservative constituents who oppose big government and calls to help revive the economy and create jobs.
After some concern, he voted for healthcare reform, saying at the time: “The message from the people I represent is clear – health care costs and health insurance practices are out of control. While nearly every person I meet has a different idea about what the exact fix should be, everyone agrees that doing nothing is not an option.”
But he was among 34 House Democrats who voted “no” on a tax cut and spending package in May designed to, among other things, extend unemployment benefits and renew some business tax breaks. The bill ultimately passed the House.
Murphy had pushed for a one percent decrease in federal spending, saying “There’s a growing concern among fiscally-conservative, moderate Democrats to start paying back some of the loans we’ve taken out. I don’t buy the argument that we can’t find offsets to pay for some of this programming.”
He recently voted against an additional $59 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over concerns that as “emergency spending” it was not paid for.
Murphy did however, vote for the Wall Street bailout, an increase in the minimum wage and a ban on discrimination against gays in the workplace. He opposed an abortion ban tied to foreign aid and an effort to repeal Washington D.C. gun control law.
Recently Murphy has been pushing measures to strengthen federal “Buy American” provisions, designed to increase America jobs and use of U.S. products.
Murphy previously served two terms in the state House of Representatives and two in the state Senate beginning in 1998. He was chairman of the Public Health committee and oversaw the passage of workplace smoking ban legislation and was the author of the Stem Cell Investment Act. He also practiced real estate and banking law at Ruben, Johnson and Morgan from 2002 through 2006.
In Congress he serves on the Energy and Commerce and Oversight and Government Reform committees.
Education: B.A., Williams College; J.D., University of Connecticut
Personal: Murphy is 37. His wife, Cathy Holahan, is a legal aid lawyer. They have one child and live in Cheshire.