As I conclude my work as your state representative, I find myself filled with a profound sense of gratitude. This is my last communication to you as your state representative, or at least for the time being. Holding public office has been a joy and a sacred privilege. Let me explain.
When I first came into public office, particularly when I went to Columbus, I heard so many discordant and noisy voices from the far left and the far right that I found it annoying and even ridiculous. With time, however, I came to understand the deep wisdom in the creation of a democratically-elected legislature. As a state with over 11 million people and 220 miles across each way, we are a state with widely divergent views. It is precisely this cacophony of people and perspectives that creates the rich tapestry of our society. I’ve come to appreciate, in this diversity, the handiwork of God himself. While this may be an unremarkable insight for many, it came as a revelation to me and in that and everyday life I find great joy.
Public service has also been a privilege for the obvious reason that there are few who are able to serve in a limited number of offices. But it is also a privilege because we are entrusted with the authority that is only yours to give. And while many would argue that government is the very antithesis of secular society, I submit that there is a sacred dimension as well. While it may simply be that I lack the capacity to understand the obvious, I have never been able to fully comprehend the extraordinary authority with which I have been entrusted without thinking of it as a sacred gift which I’ve been called upon to carry for a short while and return unblemished to the people who loaned it out.
I’m certain that we have not always agreed and know from the vote counts that many of you voted for my able opponents. I remain nevertheless deeply grateful to each of you for the opportunity to be of service. As one door closes, another invariably opens and I look forward to new opportunities to help in this beautiful area that my neighbors and I are lucky to call home.
Ohio State Representative Dennis Murray