Meet Ben Murray, candidate for state house representative, district 80

Hi my name is Ben Murray. I’m running for State Representative in the 80th District. I’ve actually worked for progressive candidates and campaigns for the last 13 years, most recently leading Megan Green’s two successful campaigns for Alderwoman.

I have a Master’s Degree in Public Policy Administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, as well a graduate certificate in Local Government Management. I have been active over the years with the St. Louis Young Democrats, the Eight Ward Independent Democratic Organization, and the 15th Ward Democrats, and am a former member of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655.

My first job out of college was working for Congressman Russ Carnahan. In 2008, I served as the organizing director at the Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition. In 2011, when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker attacked public workers, I travelled that state to work against him. Later the same year, when Ohio Governor, John Kasich tried to force through a bill to strip collective bargaining rights for teachers, police officers and firefighters, I joined that fight as well. For the last three years, I’ve worked for St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman.

I’ve been pretty lucky to work behind the scenes for some great candidates and honesty I never thought I would be running for office myself. When this race came open, I looked at the field that was coming together and I looked around our Democratic caucus.

We have Democrats who are good on labor issues, but are anti choice

And we have Democrats who are good on LGBTQ issues but are bad on environmental issues.

And we have Democrats who are good on racial equity issues, but are bad on labor issues.

The 80th District is arguably one of the most diverse, progressive districts in Missouri. We deserve a representative who is an outspoken progressive. Not just somebody who checks most of the boxes most of the time.

The longer I work in government, the more I realize that it’s all tied together.

You can’t talk about being pro-choice for too long without acknowledging that woman who doesn’t earn a living wage, doesn’t have meaningful reproductive freedom.

You can’t talk about being an environmentalist for too long, without acknowledging that too often pollution disproportionately impacts communities of color.

That’s what people mean when they talk about intersectionality. We need a robust progressive agenda

So let it not go unsaid:

I’m proud to be prochoice.

I’m proud to support LGBTQ rights.

I’m proud to fight racism.

I’m proud to support labor rights.

I’m proud to be an environmentalist.

Having said this, one of the things folks hear me talk most about in this campaign is ethics reform. I’ve worked in campaign finance for a most of my career. I have seen first-hand the effects of big money in our politics. I’ve watched people with the best of intentions get into office and get seduced by the lifestyle.

It hangs over every issue big and small in Jefferson City. For all the big talk at the beginning of this year’s session, both from the Speaker and the Governor, the Legislature only passed a handful of watered down reforms. There are still no limits on the steak dinners or Cardinals tickets or booze that legislators can take from lobbyists. I’ve said I’m not going to take any of that stuff and I’m going to keep talking about it, to anyone who will listen, until we can get real ethics reform done.

It is my passion. It’s why I’m running. I ask for your support. More than that, I need your help. We’re out there knocking on doors every day. Come by the office. Get involved. I can’t do it without you.

Thank you for your time and giving me the opportunity to serve you.

-Ben Murray, Candidate for 80th District State Representative