Former legislative candidate and School District 25 Trustee Nate Murphy said, yes, he has dropped out of his race and stepped down from his position, but not for the reason published in an Associated Press article last week.
The AP article, which ran on this website, made it seem that the reason Murphy was stepping down was because he was outed as bisexual, he said.
The real reason he stepped down had nothing to do with his sexuality, Murphy said. It’s because he got an offer to take on his dream job.
“We have faith that people connected can create a new world. Each one of us is a creator, but together, we are the Creator,” Jim Gilliam said in a speech he gave at the Personal Democracy Forum in 2011.
He is impassioned, talking about the ability to engage and empower people through the Internet. Gilliam is the CEO of NationBuilder, an online community organizing system.
Murphy first saw the speech in the form of a YouTube video last year, and was struck with inspiration. When he learned about NationBuilder, working there became his dream job.
“And I never expected this opportunity would come along, but when it did, and I sat and thought about it for a while, it was just an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” he said.
Murphy applied for a job with the company, was given the offer to become NationBuilder’s Elections Center Manager on Thursday, Aug. 2. By Monday, Aug. 6, he was working in Los Angeles.
That was the day he dropped out of his race for a District 29 House seat, and the day the Associated Press article hit the wires. Murphy said that his sexual identity coming out had nothing to do with his decision.
“I would have appreciated a little bit more time before that article came out to explain my side of the story, especially because I was planning to do so within the next few days,” he said.
Murphy was the youngest person to serve on District 25’s school board. He could have also been the youngest representative to serve the state of Idaho. Walking away from those opportunities, he said, is a decision he didn’t take lightly.
“And I hope that I’ve inspired a few others to take up where I left off,” he said.
But Murphy’s moving on quickly, pursuing his passion that NationBuilder just happens to share.
“Part of one of my biggest political beliefs is that we need to have more people’s voices that aren’t heard running for office, young people and people who don’t come from a taken care of socio-economic background,” Murphy said that could help break down some of the barriers to entry that exist in politics.
There are so many similarities between his own story and the way that NationBuilder came to be, Murphy said he can’t help feeling like fate played a part in all of this.
“It was just such a perfect fit that, it was almost kind of eerie, how good of a fit that is,” he said.
The school district will post a vacancy for Murphy’s seat, and the Bannock County Democrats will find a replacement for Murphy in the House race, he said.