Pat Murphy first Democrat to announce in IA-01

Former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy announced this morning that he is running for Congress in the first district. After the jump I’ve posted his open letter to Iowans, which for now is the only content on his campaign website. He’s on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

Murphy has represented part of Dubuque in the Iowa House since winning a special election in 1989. He was House speaker from 2007 through 2010. I give him huge credit for having the guts and integrity to welcome the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision on marriage from day one, when some Democrats were running for cover. On the whole, I was disappointed by how little was accomplished during the years Democrats controlled the state House and Senate as well as Terrace Hill. Iowa didn’t reform the tax system to make it less regressive, we didn’t make much progress on labor or environmental issues, we didn’t pass a state-level DREAM act or even repeal the English-only law. In most of those cases, the Iowa House caucus was the key roadblock.

A competitive primary is healthy for a party, and I expect other Democratic candidates to emerge in IA-01. Among other things, Murphy will need to explain why Democrats should nominate a man to replace Bruce Braley when we finally have a good chance to send our state’s first woman to Congress. He told Erin Murphy of the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald that he is “used to tough races,” knows “what I’m getting into” and “what fundraising is like.”



I’m Pat Murphy. Thanks for visiting my website. I want to tell you a little bit about who I am and what I’ve done. More importantly, I hope this starts a conversation about what we can do together for Iowans in the future.

I grew up the ninth of ten kids in a working class family in Dubuque. My dad was a union member; my mom took care of us kids. My parents didn’t have a lot but they instilled in us the values that still guide me today – treating people with respect, the importance of hard work, and standing up for what you believe. Times weren’t always easy, but we persevered.

My wife Teri and I raised four kids of our own in Dubuque and we’re proud to see Jake, John, Joe and Natalie embody those values as they start careers and families of their own.

Teri and I always made sure not to just talk about values to our kids but to live them. That’s why we’ve dedicated our professional lives to standing up for what we believe. I’ve worked in the health care industry and as an educator at Northeast Iowa Community College. Drawn to public service, I became a legislator and have proudly represented Dubuque in the Iowa House. Teri is a nurse who stood up and helped organize fellow nurses to make sure they were being treated fairly and earning a fair wage.

I’ve worked across the aisle when it meant bettering the lives of Iowans and stood up to the right wing when they threatened our future. I was honored when my colleagues made me the only Democratic Speaker of the House in a generation.

In the legislature, I worked with my colleagues to increase the minimum wage, raise teacher pay, expand preschool, honor our veterans, grow our renewable energy, create quality job opportunities, defend the rights of workers, protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, and stand up for equality for all Iowans, including the right for gay and lesbian Iowans to marry.

It’s a crucial time for our country. The middle-class is under attack, our children’s futures are at stake and the ability for Iowa seniors to have secure retirements are in jeopardy. Senator Harkin and Congressman Braley have championed middle-class families. I’ve spent my life fighting for the values my parents taught me and I’m running to continue that fight in Congress.

I’ve worked hard to help elect Democratic candidates over the years, knocking doors in nearly every county in this district. I look forward to spending more time across the district over the coming months to have a conversation with you about the future and what’s at stake for middle-class Iowa families. I want to earn your vote.


Pat Murphy

  • labor

    i think Murphy’s biggest asset is going to be the labor unions/retired union workers in the 1st district.  While unions aren’t as powerful as they once were, with Dubuque, Waterloo, and Cedar Rapids having decent labor union households that is going to be his best friend in a primary.  

    • maybe so

      but he should have been able to get prevailing wage and/or choice of doctor through the Iowa House when he had a 56-44 majority.

      I never understood how the Iowa House approved a collective bargaining bill with 53 Democrats in 2008 but couldn’t approve a similar bill with 56 Democrats in 2009 or 2010.

  • Breaking news

    In Iowa, straight white male announces for Congress

  • Mathis

    I’m not ready to support Murphy in this race, but Pat Murphy was born a male and you can’t hold that against him.  I think he understands issues far better than Liz Mathis does, but I certainly think IA-1 Dems will nominate a woman in this race.

    I like EMILY’s List as well, but I do get a bit offended when a man who is just as strong on choice can have mailers sent out against them.  

You need to signin or signup to post a comment.