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Murray Leaving Cincinnati City Council For D.C. Job

City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati Council Member Amy Murray is resigning her seat for a job in Washington, D.C.
Murray, a Republican, will be director of small business programs for the U.S. Department of Defense. It's a political appointment and serves at the will of the president.

The Defense Department said in a press release Murray "will be responsible for integrating all DoD small business activities and overseeing the efficient and effective functioning of the department's small business specialists and acquisition workforce."

Murray has not set a resignation date from City Council, but she starts her new job on March 16.

Murray is term-limited and cannot run for re-election in 2021.

She called it a "bittersweet"decision.

"I have loved serving on City Council," Murray said. "It has been such an honor to represent everyone.  What a great opportunity and really just a joy of my life, the positives and the negatives."

She first ran for City Council in 2009, finishing 12th in a race where the top nine are elected.

In Jan. 2011, Murray was appointed to replace fellow Republican Chris Monzel when he was elected Hamilton County commissioner. She failed to win re-election in Nov. 2011, coming in 12th.

Murray ran again in 2013 and won, finishing in 9th place. She was re-elected in 2017, coming in 8th.

Murray has worked closely with Mayor John Cranley and was a key vote when Cranley wanted to oust former City Manager Harry Black in 2018. Black resigned his position before the council could vote to fire him.

Murray said she's proud of the work the city has done to improve the emergency communications center following the April 2018 death of Kyle Plush. He died after getting trapped in his minivan in a school parking lot. Plush called 911 twice for help, but he was not found until hours later after he had died.

"You all recall what we went through two years ago, and tragedy that happened," Murray said. "My office, we took that and embraced it and I made a commitment that I was going to do whatever we could to make our 911 center better, more effective, and realizing that every second counts when you call for 911."

Murray had considered challenging Congressman Steve Chabot in the upcoming March primary to represent Ohio's 1st Congressional District, but ultimately did not enter that race. She was also Jim Renacci's running mate for lieutenant governor for a brief time in 2018 before Renacci dropped out of the governor's race to run for U.S. Senate instead.

Murray is originally from Arizona, and during high school she spent a year in Kyoto, Japan, learning about the culture, language and people. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Arizona State University. She was hired by Procter & Gamble, where she worked in global business development for 14 years.

When she was elected in 2017, Murray selected Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman and Council Member Jeff Pastor to choose her successor if her seat became vacant. The Hamilton County Republican Party will likely have input on selecting a replacement to fill out the term until Jan. 4, 2022, and have a good chance of winning re-election in 2021.

Murray indicated she would have a role in picking her successor, too.

"We're definitely looking for someone that has the same principles and the same work ethics and the same thought moving forward that can represent the people of the city of Cincinnati," Murray said.

The Republican party will be accepting applications for those interested in filling Murray's seat. Those interested will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and could be interviewed. The application deadline is Feb. 19 at 5 p.m.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.