A Bellefonte man who starred in a feature role alongside Kevin Spacey in Netflix's House of Cards is hoping to transition into real-life politics.
"In November, I plan on going to Washington."
Lee Murphy is running as a Republican for U.S. Congress for the seat currently held by Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester, who is running for re-election.
"My opponent, I don't think she really represents the true feelings of most of the great residents, citizens here...I think her stance on things like sanctuary cities/sanctuary state, in a month of campaigning out there I've met Democrats, Independents, Republicans, they just are not for that," said Murphy in his first interview since filing for the federal office on WDEL's Rick Jensen Show.
In response, Blunt Rochester said in 2016, she made history becoming the first woman and first African American to represent Delaware in Congress. She vowed to continue to work tirelessly for her constituents.
"As someone who takes immense pride in representing all viewpoints and all voters up and down the state, I look forward to a campaign that brings people together and is centered on the issues that matter most to Delawareans, like creating good-paying jobs, pressing for progress and equality in our society, and protecting and preserving important programs, like Social Security and Medicare," said Blunt Rochester in a written statement. There is still more work for us to do and more for us to accomplish together, and I humbly ask First Staters for their vote on Election Day."
Murphy, who spent his career working for Amtrak as a conductor and in management, also doesn't support abolishing ICE. Speaking on WDEL's Rick Jensen Show, he came out in support of President Donald Trump's zero-tolerance policies along the southern border.
"They are finally doing their job and backed by the president, and they're...certainly in a difficult situation; they can be called, obviously, 'the bad guys' by the Democrats, [but] they are enforcing the law, and we are a country of laws, and quite frankly, at this point in history we need them," said Murphy. "The motto of ICE is protecting national security and upholding public safety so when people talk about getting rid of an organization like that, I think it's irresponsible," he said.
Last week, Blunt Rochester recently visited an immigrant detention center for children ages 13 to 17 in Dobbs Ferry, New York, where she denounced the policy that separates children from their families at the border.
"As a parent, even if you took my kids to Disney World or the Ritz Carlton, you still separated my child, and that's still painful and traumatic to me, and that's painful and traumatic to those children. So we were happy that these were caring individuals who are basically living out a bad policy; I mean they're doing a good job with a bad policy," she told WDEL.
She also partook in a "Keep Families Together" rally in Wilmington last weekend, where she expressed support for balanced immigration reform and a speedy reunification of separated parents and families.
When it comes to gun rights, Murphy who's made two unsuccessful runs as Republican for a state House seat, representing constituents in the Brandywine Hundred area, said he fully supports the Second Amendment.
"I personally don't own a gun, but if this government came to a point where it was oppressive, and I felt my rights were being threatened, I'd certainly want the ability to go out and buy a gun to take care of myself," he said. "The people that want to see this done away with, we have to stand up and fight against that."
The Opioid Epidemic
Murphy told WDEL he has a personal connection to the opioid epidemic devastating Delaware.
"My daughter, who fought addiction most of her adult life for 20 years, and I went through the process with her here from the time she was 16 to the time she passed away at age 38, she fought this problem, we went to 30-day rehabs throughout the state, throughout the East Coast, they didn't work...she got arrested, and she went to jail."
She was sentenced to a first-of-its-kind 18-month-long drug treatment program at Delores J. Baylor Women's Correctional Institution.
"It was painful for her, it was painful for me, it was painful for her mother, it was painful for her children," he said. "She came out and she started her life again and built her own business and remained clean for many, many, many years, and unfortunately, she passed away from a pulmonary embolism," he said.
If elected, he pledged to work Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long on her endeavor to combat the opioid epidemic and vowed to ensure that federal money for addiction is funneled to local groups that can actually help the problem.
When it comes to efforts to legalize pot in Delaware, which were defeated in the final days of the General Assembly's legislative session, Murphy said he supports decriminalization, which Delaware has done, but not full legalization.