SANFORD, Maine — A National Guardsman from the Sanford village of Springvale has entered the race to represent Maine’s 1st District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Richard Murphy, an independent, joins three-term incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and Gorham Republican Isaac Misiuk as contenders for the seat, which represents southern Maine. Pingree and Misiuk could face primary challenges if others within their parties seek the nomination. Murphy simply will have to qualify for the November 2014 general election ballot.
Misiuk, a 24-year-old party activist who serves as the vice chairman of the Cumberland County Young Republicans, declared his candidacy Wednesday.
According to Murphy’s campaign website, the Boston native and 1996 Brookline (Mass.) High School graduate was a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers while working for his grandfather’s civil engineering firm in Massachusetts.
Murphy joined the Massachusetts Army National Guard in 2001 and served overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom, working civilian jobs in real estate and construction before moving to Springvale with his family in 2009.
When domestic work became scarce along with the recession, his online biography states that he took United Nations contract jobs in South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia. He considered “trying to collect public assistance … [but it was] not an option,” and “[it was] much worse than moving overseas,” the campaign website states.
“The politicians have failed. The millionaires have failed. It is time,” Murphy states on his website about his reasons for running. “I am not a politician. I am a regular American who understands the concerns of the citizens of Maine. I know what needs to be done and I have the guts to do it.”
Murphy describes himself as against gun bans and President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. He supports charter schools and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from current overseas conflicts, among other stances, according to the website.
After U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, a Democrat, decided to leave the 1st District seat to run for the Senate in 2008, Pingree won the nomination in a hotly contested primary, then defeated Republican Charlie Summers to win. She has since fended off challenges from Republicans Dean Scontras in 2010 and Jonathan Courtney in 2012.