By LARRY THOMAS
Clark County’s Republican Party chairman has been elected head of the Young Republican National Federation.
Glenn Murphy Jr., a 33-year-old from Utica, was elected to the chairman’s post July 7 in Hollywood, Fla., and was sworn in later that day by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. He led a slate of 13 executive officers that was elected 440-0.
“I will essentially be the mouthpiece and effective leader for the tens of thousands of Young Republicans, 18 to 40, across the country,” said Murphy, who took a vacation following the organization’s convention and returned to Clark County last weekend.
Murphy said the primary goal for his two-year term is to double the number of active Young Republicans before the presidential election in November 2008.
“I’ve always been a big believer in the ability of young people to have a big impact on their communities,” Murphy said. “That’s what the Young Republicans are all about.”
Murphy has served as Clark County’s GOP chairman since 2001, and was the founding chairman of the county’s Young Republicans in 1998.
At the end of 1998, former Clark Superior Court 2 Judge George “Buzz” Jacobs left office, leaving Republicans with no elected officials in Clark County. Today, the party holds 23 elected offices in Clark County, including all five seats on the Sellersburg Town Council, three each on the Jeffersonville and county councils and one on the Charlestown City Council.
“It’s a very different party than it was,” said Murphy, the founder of the Utica-based consulting firm December Media.
Murphy admits that his national position will eventually require him to step down as local party chairman, though no specific timetable has been set and, publicly, there is no clear frontrunner to replace him.
“That’s just what we’re discussing right now,” said Murphy, adding that he plans to continue his involvement in local politics after he resigns as county chairman. “The bottom line is, I’m not going anywhere. I’m not moving to Washington, D.C.”
Murphy is the second Southern Indiana resident to lead the Young Republican National Federation in recent years. Versailles resident Dee Dee Benkie served as the group’s chairwoman from 2001 to 2003. Versailles is located in Ripley County and is about 25 miles north of Madison.
Previously, Murphy served two terms as the state’s Young Republican chairman.