Hickman High grad seeks seat in Congress

Thursday, January 29, 2009 | 10:08 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Scott Murphy, a 1988 graduate of Hickman High School and now a resident of upstate New York, is running for that state's 20th District congressional seat.

The vacancy will be filled by special election after Kirsten Gillibrand, the former congresswoman for the 20th District, was chosen to fill the Senate seat left open by Hillary Clinton, who is now the U.S. secretary of state.

At Hickman High School, Murphy was involved in many activities related to politics, including his role as a student leader and his involvement in Boys Nation, a program in Washington, D.C., that teaches teens about American government. He also was a Presidential Scholar.

Judy Nolke, who was Murphy’s guidance counselor at Hickman High School but has since retired, stayed in touch with Murphy because of the relationship they built during his attendance at Hickman.

“He was always in my office because of the amount of time he spent career planning,” Nolke said. “He was what every parent wished their child to be like. He was humble and cared for his fellow students.”

Alan and Lauri Murphy of Columbia, Scott Murphy's father and stepmother, said their son has always enjoyed politics.

“He’s doing what he likes,” Alan Murphy said.

After graduating from high school, Scott Murphy attended Harvard University and was an aide for Missouri Democratic Govs. Mel Carnahan and Roger Wilson. According to a news release about his candidacy, he is recognized for creating 1,000 new jobs in his community.

“We’re very proud and encouraged by what he’s doing,” Lauri Murphy said.

After graduating from Harvard, Scott Murphy moved to New York, where his wife, Jennifer’s, family lived. He gives credit for much of his success to his parents. At a young age they made sure he was taught the value of public service.

“When I was a kid at Mizzou games, my family and I would sell popcorn and raise money for local organizations,” he said.

The Boone County Democratic Party has been e-mailing local residents asking them to help raise money for Scott Murphy’s campaign. There is no primary because it is a special election; the date has not yet been announced.

Scott Murphy believes he would be a successful congressman because of his extensive background in economics and politics. His main focus in the campaign is creating more jobs for the area to create stability for families and communities.

“Having someone that understands the needs of the people is important,” Scott Murphy said.

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