Murray to challenge Brown in 27A

Published 6:23 am Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Albert Lea business owner and financial adviser Rich Murray on Tuesday filed for the District 27A House of Representatives seat against incumbent DFL Rep. Robin Brown.

Murray, 52, who has lived in Albert Lea for 27 years, has been heavily involved with the Freeborn County Republican Party and numerous civic and charitable organizations.

He said he has thought about running for many years.

“I believe we need to take a look at the issues and do something about them,” Murray said.

As the president and managing director of ISC Financial Advisors, he has worked in the investment advisery business, specializing in retirement planning for 25 years.

He has a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Mankato State and an master’s of business administration degree from the University of St. Thomas.

He said he thinks his financial and business background would help him deal with the budget crisis as a legislator.

He noted he doesn’t think the Legislature accomplished anything during the past session to fix the deficit problem — it’s just been delayed. He said he’s afraid that by delaying the deficit, it may in turn get bigger.

Legislators need to work together to solve this issue, Murray said.

Having served with numerous charitable organizations over the years — including the United Way, the Salvation Army and the Naeve Healthcare Foundation, among others — he said he feels strongly about caring for people.

Murray said he believes in helping people up when they are down, but recognizes that it is important to also teach those people the skills needed to accomplish things on their own, too. There also need to be more jobs and a better-educated workforce.

With eight granddaughters, he added that education is another key priority for him.

He said he thinks he can work with people on both sides of the aisle, as he has been doing this in various capacities during the last 20 years.

“I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I just feel real strongly this is a role I want to serve in,” Murray said. “I will do my best to win this race and be the best representative I can be.”

He said he looks forward to the campaign and hopes to speak to many people in the district about his message. He also plans to knock on doors and talk with residents to see what issues they are facing and to try to come up with solutions.

Freeborn County Republican Party Chairman Al Arends called Murray the “perfect person” for the position and said Murray will be a representative who is representative of southern Minnesota rather than the Twin Cities.

Arends said he thinks Murray can make a difference for Albert Lea, Freeborn County and the district.

Murray was chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party from 1986 through 1990. He said since then he’s worked on campaigns for Bob Haukoos, Ron Kraus, Dan Dorman, Matt Benda and most recently, Erik Larsen.

He has taught parenting classes at the Freeborn County jail through Circle of Parents, has taught Sunday School at First Presbyterian Church and has been involved with the Southern Minnesota Judicial Ethics Committee, the Exchange Club of Albert Lea and the Albert Lea Technical College Foundation Board.

He has also been on the Big Island Rendezvous Executive Committee and the Alpha Board Finance Committee and has been involved with the Elks youth girls traveling basketball, the YMCA, and in numerous other youth sports coaching positions.

He has been married to his wife, Sandra, for 34 years and has four adult children and eight granddaughters. In his free time he enjoys playing sports, reading, going for walks and runs around the lake and spending time with his family.

In response to Murray’s filing, Brown said she expected to have an opponent and that she had not met Murray before.

She said she is excited about the campaign season.

“I am really looking forward to door knocking 10,000 plus houses and meeting people face to face and visiting with them about the issues,” Brown said. “I expect it to be a fun campaign and look forward to talking to people.”