Get to Know Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy is a Democrat representing Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. The 5th District stretches from just west of Hartford to the New York border, containing the towns of Waterbury, Danbury, New Britain, and Meriden, as well as the vast majority of Litchfield County.
Chris was first elected to Congress in 2006, defeating 24-year-incumbent Nancy Johnson by running a positive, grassroots campaign. Since his election to Congress, Chris has maintained a constant presence throughout the district when he’s not representing Connecticut in Washington. Chris’ attentiveness to his constituents is well known – an article in a Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call, said that Chris is “considered ‘omnipresent’ back home” due to his commitment to knocking on doors year round and holding dozens of supermarket office hours.
In Connecticut and in Washington, Chris’ career has centered on his strong advocacy for better, more affordable health care. In Connecticut, he served as Senate Chair of the Public Health Committee in the General Assembly for four years, authoring Connecticut’s Stem Cell Investment Act and the state’s landmark ban on smoking in the workplace. During his second term in Congress, Chris was appointed to the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee where he took part in the drafting of the historic health care reform law. As the legislation moved through Congress, Chris was a leading voice for the public option and putting Americans back in charge of their health care.
Chris’ great-grandfather and grandfather climbed into the middle class through jobs at Fafnir Bearing Company in New Britain, and his family history has caused Chris to become a firm believer in the imperative of keeping manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Toward that end, Chris founded the Buy American Caucus, a bi-partisan Congressional group dedicated to ensuring that U.S. industrial policy incentivizes companies to create jobs here at home.
Since his days as a student activist, Chris has been committed to the issue of environmental protection, and he currently sits as Co-Chairman of the Congressional Land Conservation Caucus. This position has allowed him to advocate on behalf of the many wonderful open spaces and natural treasures the 5th District of Connecticut has to offer, such as Skiff Mountain in Kent and the Farmington Valley’s Metacomet Trail.
As the son of a public school teacher, Chris believes that education is the key to the future of our nation. In Congress, he has looked for diverse ways to improve our nation’s classrooms, from strengthening efforts to improve our traditional K-12 classrooms to supporting education in our high performing charter schools.
Throughout his time in public service, Chris has fought for equal rights and protections for all Americans – no matter their sexual orientation or identity. He has advocated for the federal government to abandon the Defense of Marriage Act, supported legislation to end employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and fought to end the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy toward gays in the military.
Both sides of Chris’ family go back four generations in Connecticut. Chris grew up in Wethersfield, Connecticut, where his parents continue to live. He attended Williams College in Massachusetts, graduating with honors, and received his law degree from the University of Connecticut. Chris currently resides in Cheshire with his wife Catherine, a legal aid attorney, and their sons Owen and Rider.