Friday, December 09, 2005

Delph Upsets Murphy's Plan In Upset

Former Burton aide Mike Delph upset Wayne Township Trustee Dan Gammon in last night's caucus voting of precinct committeemen to replace retiring Sen. Murray Clark WISH-TV reports. With more than a third of the eligible committeemen absent due to the snow storm, Delph upset Marion Co. GOP chairman Mike Murphy's second best laid plan to install Gammon to fill the remainder of Clark's term with the understanding Gammon would back Murphy's first choice, Isaac Randolph, in next year's election.

Murphy, along with Gov. Daniels, had initially tried to broker the appointment of Randolph in an effort to "broaden the diversity" of the Republican Party. Randolph would have become the only Republican African American legislator. Gammon and other county Republicans balked at the plan, causing Murphy and other leaders to reach a compromise between Gammon and Randolph, which would have ensured that a Marion County Republican would hold the seat.

Delph, a Hamilton County resident, vowed to fight Murphy in the caucus and to run for the seat next year even if he lost the race to be appointed to the seat. Delph's upset win is a major blow to Murphy's credibility. The loss of the Senate seat will weaken Marion County Republicans influence in the legislature.

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