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Former MHA George Murphy not ruling out run for Newfoundland Liberals

Former NDP MHA George Murphy, seen here at the Liberal general meeting and convention in Gander, isn’t ruling out a run for the Liberal party in 2019.
Former NDP MHA George Murphy, seen here at the Liberal general meeting and convention in Gander, isn’t ruling out a run for the Liberal party in 2019. - Ashley Fitzpatrick

Is former NDP MHA George Murphy considering a run in the 2019 election — for the Liberals?

“I’m not going to say ‘no,’ I’m not going to say ‘yes’ right now,” he told reporters, following a celebratory launch of the Liberal general meeting and convention at the Quality Hotel and Suites in Gander on Friday night.

Elected in October 2011 as the representative for St. John’s East, Murphy was part of the NDP caucus and sat in the House of Assembly with on the heels of the “Orange Crush” wave (a swell of support driven at the federal level by the direct work and memory of federal NDP leader Jack Layton, who died that year), with five NDP members ultimately elected to the provincial legislature.

But the landmark election for the NDP provincially fell apart with public in-fighting, and questioning of the leadership of MHA Lorraine Michael, ultimately ending with a floor crossing by both NDP MHA Dale Kirby and NDP MHA Chris Mitchelmore – both re-elected in 2015, as Liberals.

Murphy decided not to run in the 2015 election.

NDP MHA George Murphy opts not to seek re-election

Then to now, he has been focused on family life, his work with Jiffy Cabs in St. John’s and with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices, of which he is co-founder. He is a regular caller to VOCM’s call-in shows by request, where he offers information on gas prices and has commented on provincial politics since deciding not to run in 2015.

But more recently, he has been wading a little further into the political, working along with other taxi company representatives in dealing directly with government, developing changes to the requirements for provincial taxi licences, and advocating for relief in ballooning insurance costs.

He told reporters the work has sparked something.

He said he has also been impressed by the Liberal government, including, he specifically mentioned, Premier Dwight Ball’s message on unity within the party and the Liberal caucus work on the economy, including seeing through the official start to the Vale underground mine. 

He said he’s also enjoyed talking policy with friends in the Liberal party, where he was a member, before moving to the NDP.

“I’ll talk to family first about that, but I’m liking what I’m seeing,” he said, on the question of getting back into the political ring.

“I miss it. I miss it inherently, and I think once it gets in the blood. I get a lot of messages from people across the province asking me to get back into it and they’re all on my mind too. So I’ll take some time to consider it,” he said.

Murphy was the representative for the now defunct district of St. John’s East – ended in 2015 with a re-drawing of electoral boundaries. The district would now be St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi, currently represented by NDP MHA Lorraine Michael.

ashley.fitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

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