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Council Newcomer Sees Mandate for 'Civility' in Election Victory

Richard Murphy, the top vote-getter in the Los Alamitos City Council race, says voters are looking for change and civil discourse.

Los Alamitos voters took a chance Tuesday on a City Council newcomer Tuesday.

Challenger Richard Murphy earned the highest number of votes, beating incumbent Ken Stephens and three other opponents with 1,758 votes or 33.7 percent. Former mayor Dean Grose won the second open seat with the second-highest with 1,452 votes or 27.9 percent. Stephens earned 1,217 votes or 23.4 percent, and realtor Demi Devaney came in last with 782 or15 percent of the vote.

Murphy said it felt good to win, especially since he’s never run for public office before.

“You know it’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like this,” Murphy said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet that it’s for real. But it will soon.”

“I think it helped being the new face,” Murphy said. “To tell you the truth, people seem to want some kind of change, and I think they like the message that I’m going to try to be ‘down the middle’ and bring some civility back to the council.”

Murphy who financed his own campaigns without taking donations from others said he was “humbled” by all the people who supported him and voted for him.

And his first act when he’s sworn in December?

“I’d like to look into the possibility of getting the agenda up earlier,” Murphy said. “In this day and age there’s no reason that the agenda gets posted on a Friday when (the City Council meeting) is on Monday. Even if it’s just a proposed agenda, I think that that is important for the citizens.”

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