Bob Murphy said his judicial experience and knowledge of the law would give him insight into the legislation process and allow him to create viable solutions for Oklahomans if elected state senator.

Murphy, the Democratic nominee for Tuesday’s election, was associate district judge for Payne County 14 years before resigning to run for Senate. He said his judgeship placed him at the “back end” of the legislation, and he was eager to contribute to the lawmaking process beyond his former role of interpreting law.

“I can do so much here, but I could do so much more in the capitol for everybody,” Murphy said.

A Stillwater native, Murphy has been a champion for the rights of children and victims of abuse. He has served a variety of leadership roles throughout the community, including coach, president of the Sangre Ridge PTA, member of the Rotary Club, and member of the Child Death Review Board, which examines situations when a child dies in foster care.

Murphy’s academic adviser from Oklahoma State University, Harold Sare, said Murphy’s knowledge of how law applies was one of his “greatest strengths.”

“There are not very many people in the legislature with that kind of background,” Sare said. “He’ll have a keener insight into how the process works.”

Murphy said he was inspired by the example of his father, Robert Murphy, Sr., who was a state senator for 18 years.

“The more problems people had, the more of a challenge he saw in being able to help,” Murphy said. “He never would turn anyone down.”

Murphy said his father worked hard and thought outside of the box to devise creative solutions, something he’s tried to do in his own career.

While serving as associate district judge for Payne County, Murphy said he allowed jurors to take notes and ask questions during trials over which he presided.

He said some critics argued that would slow the trial process, which was already lengthy. However, Murphy said he received positive feedback from jurors, who said they felt they were better informed because of his policies.

Murphy said acting as judge trained him to listen to both sides before making a decision, something he would continue to do as senator.

“It’s important to have people who are good listeners who can listen and pick up on inflections, read between the lines and figure things out,” Murphy said.

John Gage, long-time friend and schoolmate of Murphy’s, said Murphy would be a strong advocate for the people of Oklahoma. He said Murphy was someone who would work with both parties and focus on the issues in order to reach the best solutions.

“He’ll work both sides of the helm,” Gage said.

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