Saturday, October 09, 1999

Covington mayor race is off to an early start

Murphy has Bowman's blessing

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — A Covington mayoral election that will be one of the most crowded and hotly contested in years began Friday night when former police officer Ray Murphy became the first candidate to formally enter the race.

        Mr. Murphy, 48, said his law enforcement background will be a centerpiece of his 2000 campaign. The 23-year Covington police veteran retired last year and now works as a Kenton County deputy sheriff.

        “I grew up in Covington and I worked on these city streets,” said Mr. Murphy, who goes by the nickname “Radar” and still lives in the Peaselburg neighborhood where he grew up. “I know the resources the police department needs to do its job, and I'll work to make sure the police have those resources.”

        Mr. Murphy said he would push to have more and improved parks, including in South Covington, where there are no parks.

        He would reconfigure the city's economic development department so tax breaks and other incentive programs now offered to businesses and corporations would be available to residents.

        “We need to promote homeownership in Covington, because with homeownership comes pride in the city,” he said.

        Several other candidates are also pondering runs or have committed to the race.

        City Commissioner Butch Callery and former mayor Bernie Moorman, who also served on the Kenton County Fiscal Court, have said they will run but have not made formal announcements.

        City commissioners Jim Eggemeier and Jerry Bamberger also are considering getting in the race.

        Mr. Eggemeier said that with 13 months before the election, it's too early to announce a candidacy.

        “I guess Ray needs the time to raise money and put a campaign together,” Mr. Eggemeier said.

        Mr. Murphy, who made his announcement to about 50 supporters at the American Legion Hall in Latonia, has a veteran campaign team that includes:

        • Former Covington police officer Bill Schilling.

        • Kenton County Chief Deputy Sheriff Ron Washington.

        • Attorney Rick Robinson, a member of the Kentucky Republican Party executive committee and a former top aide for U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky.

        “Ray Murphy has been a leader on the streets of Covington for over two decades,” said Mr. Robinson. “Now he is going to show his leadership as mayor of the city.”

        Mayor Denny Bowman, who is prevented by state law from seeking a third term, has endorsed Mr. Murphy.

        Danny Goetz of Covington's Wallace Woods neighborhood said he is supporting Mr. Murphy because of his background in law enforcement.

        “Crime has been a problem in Covington, and somebody with Ray's experience with the police department will help the city deal with that problem,” Mr. Goetz said.

        Mr. Murphy has been active in GOP politics.


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