News and Tribune

April 9, 2007

Clark County GOP head confident about national race

By DAVID MANN

Clark County Republican Party Chairman Glenn Murphy Jr. will soon be getting a new title if things go his way.

Murphy — who is running for chairman of the Young Republicans National Federation — believes he’s on the way to winning the office.

“The campaign is going well,” Murphy said in an interview last week. The candidate has been traveling from state to state, convention to convention in the last three months trying to raise support for himself and his slate of candidates, known collectively as Team Murphy.

“We’re doing really well right now,” he said, “we’re beating our closest competition two fold.”

Murphy said that with his competition’s supporters now switching sides to support him and his slate, things are looking more positive now than they have throughout the campaign.

The whole thing works a lot like a national party convention. Delegates representing each state elect chairman, vice-chair, secretary and other offices on a slate.

The election is scheduled for the Young Republicans National Convention in July. So far Murphy, and his team have picked up support in about 20 states, combining for a total of around 500 delegate votes.

It would be a pretty big deal for the state to have the chairman of the Young Republicans be from Indiana, said Jennifer Hallowell, executive director of the Indiana Republican Party. Having that kind of pull with the Young Republicans could help the state party bring in high-level people for speeches and fundraisers.

Hallowell said the Young Republicans play a critical role in helping recruit candidates and have been serving in leadership positions in recent years.

“It’s been good for the overall health of the party.”

Murphy, of course, is no stranger to the organization. He’s serving a stint as its national secretary.

The Republican movement in Clark County started with young Republicans, he said. That’s the kind of energy he said he wants to bring to the national organization.

Murphy has brought several Republicans to power in Clark County in recent years. When he started as chairman, there were zero elected Republicans in county offices.

Now the county council’s presidency is held by the GOP. Furthermore, municipalities within Clark County — most notably Sellersburg, which has an all Republican Council — have embraced GOP candidates.

When asked why he decided to seek the office, he noted that many approached him with the idea. He made a final decision to run after seeing how badly the GOP did in national elections in November.

If elected national chairman of the Young Republicans, Murphy said he would step down as Clark County’s GOP chairman. For that reason, he joked, even local Democrats are probably rooting for him.