Saturday, April 03, 1999

Covington mayor's race might be crowded

Deputy sheriff may challenge commissioners

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Kenton County Deputy Sheriff Ray Murphy has backed away from running for the state Senate, but now may jump in the Covington mayor's race.

        Mr. Murphy, 48, a former Covington police sergeant who retired last year after 22 years with the department, said Friday he may run next year against Commissioner Irvin “Butch” Callery in the race for Covington mayor.

        Mr. Murphy was considering running against State Sen. Jack Westwood of Erlanger in the May 2000 Republican primary.

        “You can count me out of the state Senate race,” Mr. Murphy said. “But I have been approached by a number of people who think I would do a good job with the mayor's office.”

        Earlier this week, Mr. Callery, 57, a 20-year incumbent on the city commission, said he will definitely run for mayor in 2000. State law prohibits three-term incumbent Mayor Denny Bowman from seeking another term.

        “If Ray Murphy wants to run, that's fine with me,” Mr. Callery said Friday. “I really don't have any reaction at all to that.”

        Also pondering the race are City Commissioner Jim Eggemeier, the top vote-getter in last November's commission election, and former Mayor Bernie Moorman, who has also served as a Kenton County commissioner.

        Mr. Murphy has never held elected office. He ran in last May's Kenton County GOP primary for sheriff, losing to Chuck Korzenborn. Mr. Korzenborn then beat Democrat Gary Lay in November.

        Mr. Murphy was then hired as a deputy sheriff by Mr. Korzenborn.

        Mr. Murphy said his law enforcement experience and knowledge of the community would boost his candidacy.

        “Crime is probably the major issue in Covington,” Mr. Murphy said. “I think I have the experience in that area to really appeal to voters.”

        Fort Mitchell lawyer Rick Robinson, a former GOP party official, said he would support Mr. Murphy in the nonpartisan mayoral race.

        “Ray just doesn't talk the talk,” Mr. Robinson said. “He's walked the walk, literally, on a beat for over 20 years. By virtue of that he would make an excellent candidate for mayor because he could speak firsthand on one of the most important issues in the city.”

        Last year Mr. Murphy worked in Mr. Robinson's unsuccessful congressional campaign.

        Mr. Murphy said he will made a decision on the race by the summer.


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