Tom Murphy

Top priority: If elected, what is your top priority for the 2023 Legislature? Why are you running for office? 

To be part of the solution.  It’s time to stand up for the 2nd Amendment, the unborn, faith, family, freedom, small businesses, lower taxes, and transparency and truth in government!

Gridlock: Legislature gridlock has become the norm. And, increasingly, the final deals on major bills are forged by the Governor, House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader will little or no input by rank-and-file legislators. What specific measures can be taken to reduce the increasing partisanship of the lawmaking process?

Take a strong stand against Omnibus Bills.  In 1971, our Minnesota House of Representatives voted on 882 bills, and in 2021 just 35.  Omnibus Bills allow for decision-making to be done by just a few and dilutes our passionate concerns.  In addition, many unacceptable provisions become part of the bigger bill and prevent passage.  In business, we focus on one contract at a time.  Each contract has many moving parts.  I believe our lawmaking needs to take a more business-like approach.  Let’s get back to passing one bill at a time.

Elections: Do you believe that voting improprieties are a problem in Minnesota? Are there changes in election practices you would favor?

Yes, and I am not alone! A recent Star Tribune/Kare11/MPR poll shows Minnesotans are not confident in Minnesota’s electoral process. Looking at the actual questions asked, we see that 42% of voters are not highly confident that votes will be counted accurately in the 2022 midterm elections.  There are many safeguards that should be taken to ensure a free and fair election.  Eliminating drop boxes and the mass distribution of mail-in ballots, along with requiring voter I.D., will help bring back integrity to our elections.

Budget: The 2023 Legislature will convene with a significant surplus. How should the money be used with respect to spending and/or tax relief? Be specific.

I believe that our excess tax revenue should go back to Minnesotans.  We have collected too much from taxpayers!  This is our opportunity to eliminate and reduce taxes.  It’s time to remove Minnesota’s tax on Social Security.  We should reduce income and property taxes and work within our means to be good stewards of Minnesotan’s tax dollars.

Education/employment: Are Minnesota’s K-12 and higher ed systems prepared to address the workforce dynamics in a post-COVID era? What specific changes are necessary?

I support meeting the needs of education. I want to focus on student outcomes. Teachers deserve to have the tools necessary to maximize learning. Parental choice is school choice. School choice will give parents educational freedom to choose and financially support schools that meet their expectations on student learning and parental involvement.  We have room for competition.  A September 9th, 2022 Heritage Foundation Education Freedom Report Card ranks Minnesota 39th overall. I want to see divisive programs like CRT and gender equity removed from our schools.

Health care: The overturning of Roe vs. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court has put abortion law back in the hands of state legislatures. Do you support any specific changes to state law?

I am 100% pro-life from conception until natural death, and I am honored to be endorsed by the MCCL State Pac.  I believe the biggest difference between both sides of the abortion debate is believing that we are talking about a living being.  Our life stages refer to us as adults, adolescents, toddlers, babies, and fetuses.  I want life, liberty, and happiness for all beings. We should do more to support women that face unplanned pregnancies. Giving life, although sometimes unplanned, is always good.  I support parental notice and organizations that support education, including ultrasounds that help meet the needs of women and families that struggle through this time.

Transportation: Is state transportation funding properly balanced between roads and bridges and mass transit? If not, what changes do you propose?

I believe roads and bridges should be our focus.

Police reform: Proposed police reform stalled in the Legislature. Should additional initiatives be pursued?

I am 100% behind our Blue and proud to be endorsed by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.  Statewide, our police and sheriff departments need our support.  Public safety and crime are not just issues voters are concerned about in the metro area. Crime is up statewide. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) released the 2021 Uniform Crime Report in August, which summarizes crime totals for the past year. This year’s report showed a 21% jump in violent crime in 2021, including a 24% jump in the seven-county Metro area. Democrats’ policies have been soft on criminals and resulted in sharply lower recruitment of new police and peace officers to the profession. We need law and order, and all of us want to be safe! Please thank your local law enforcement for doing a great job!

Public notices: Some local government bodies continue to push for the elimination of state requirements to publish public notices, except on government websites. Independent research continues to show that far more citizens see public notices when they are published in the newspapers/on newspaper websites that they already use regularly. What’s your view on publication of important legal notices only by local government body websites?

Communication of public notices can be a challenge.  The general public receives information through many channels.  Residents of townships and counties should be able to find notices.

Briefly summarize your personal background and qualifications.

 I grew up on a Scott County dairy farm in a family of ten.  Betty and I moved to Otter Tail County to start a dairy supply sales business in 1992. I have worked 38 years in agriculture and 30 years as a small business owner.  Betty and I have been married for 33 years and have five grown children. We are active members at St. James Catholic Church in Maine, Mn.  I am a township supervisor for Maine Township and sit on the Board of Directors for Park Region Telephone Company.