Alexandrian Jay Patrick Murray faces first hearing for UN appointment

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By Alexa Epitropoulos | aepitropoulos@alextimes.com 

Jay Patrick Murray is a familiar face for many Alexandrians.

Murray, who served for 24 years with the U.S. Army and reached the rank of colonel before going into politics, ran as a Republican in the race for Virginia’s 8th U.S. House of Representatives district, which includes Alexandria, in both 2010 and 2012. His Democratic opponent, former Rep. Jim Moran, won both elections.

An Oklahoma native, Murray is a longtime Alexandria resident and continues to live and work in the city.

Now, Murray is back in the spotlight after President Donald Trump appointed him to serve as alternative U.S. representative for special political affairs to the United Nations, where he would hold the title of ambassador. If confirmed, he would serve under primary U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Though he was appointed on May 8, Murray is just beginning to go through the confirmation process. He went before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism on Tuesday to answer questions along with three other Trump appointees.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), the ranking member of the subcommittee, was present at the hearing. James E. Risch (R-Idaho.) chairs the committee.

The subcommittee is expected to make its recommendation to the full Foreign Relations Committee in the next two weeks and the committee will, in turn, makes its recommendation to the full Senate.

If the recommendations are favorable, a final vote on Murray’s confirmation could take place within the next three weeks.

Murray was a Trump supporter throughout the presidential campaign. Since ending his campaign for Virginia’s 8th district in 2012, Murray has written a book, “Government is the Problem,” published in 2015.

Murray has prior experience at the UN. While in the Army in 2008, he served as U.S. military representative to the U.N. Military Staff Committee.

He gained experience in foreign relations throughout his military career. After serving as a U.S. Army tank platoon leader and tank company commander, Murray became a foreign area officer, where he served tours in the Balkans, in the former Soviet Union and in Iraq, according to his professional biography.

While stationed in the U.S., he had assignments in the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Joint Staff in the Pentagon and the State Department.

Murray is one of several Alexandrians who have been confirmed or are being considered to serve in Trump’s administration on international and intelligence matters.

Courtney Simmons Elwood was confirmed June 6 as General Counsel to the Central Intelligence Agency. Additionally, it has been widely reported that former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, who lives here part-time and has his office in Alexandria, is being considered for ambassador to Germany, though the White House has not yet announced his appointment.

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