Murphy to chair Senate campaign, not run, in 2012
Brian Murphy, the conservative Republican who ran against Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in last year’s GOP gubernatorial primary, has a candidate in mind to run against Democratic Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin in 2012. The one thing he can confirm: It isn’t him.
“This Thursday, May 26, I’ll be making an announcement regarding the 2012 US Senate race,” Murphy wrote on his Facebook page this week, prompting supporters to reply that they were prepared to campaign for him or make a political contribution if he got into the race.
But in an interview Tuesday, Murphy said he isn’t particularly interested in the seat for himself. He will, however, serve as the chairman of a GOP campaign he hopes can win. Who is the mystery candidate?
Murphy said the challenger is married, has two master’s degrees, including an MBA, has served for 16 years in law enforcement -- including 12 years in federal law enforcement -- and has spent “many years at the White House.”
“And quite frankly, he's leaving it all behind to run for Senate,” Murphy said. “He's got huge passion for his country and for his family.”
Murphy said he will not disclose the candidate’s identity Thursday – just sing his praises. Voters will have to wait until next week for a name, he said.
In his own race against Ehrlich last year, Murphy enjoyed support from many in the tea party movement and captured national attention by securing an endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Ultimately, though, he won only about 24 percent of the GOP primary vote. And Ehrlich lost in November to Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley.
The non-partisan Cook Political Report and other prognosticators list Cardin as solidly safe for 2012. But Murphy said he is convinced the first-term Democrat, who served 20 years in the House, is vulnerable.
“There's no question Cardin’s beatable,” he said.