Friends and fans mourn the death of “Irish Sean”

Republicans Allen Fuller and Sean Murphy on election night in 2004, when Bob Beauprez coasted to re-election in Colorado’s 7th Congressional District in no time at all.  Beauprez’s first race was so close it took three weeks to declare a winner. (Facebook photo)

UPDATE: Funeral services have been set for Sean Murphy, a Colorado native who became a political dynamo. Information at the end of this blog. 

Sean Murphy, who ran Republican Bob Beauprez’s first campaign for Congress and then became his chief of staff, has unexpectedly died of natural causes.

The death was announced today by Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who said of Murphy that his chief of staff was “a skilled Colorado operative before he became a congressional staffer.”

Tributes poured in for the 51-year-old Colorado native on his Facebook page.

“Murph made us all better. And happier,” Jordan Stoick wrote.

I will always have a special place in my heart for Murphy. I wrote about him and three other Colorado Republican operatives also named Sean for a blurb that appeared in the Rocky Mountain News on March 17, 2003:

FOUR-LEAF SEAN-ROCK

What better day than St. Patrick’s to recognize four lads in Colorado Republican politics better known as the Four Seans or by their individual nicknames:

 Irish Sean: Sean Murphy, former executive director of the state GOP and chief of staff for Congressman Bob Beauprez.

Handsome Sean: Sean Walsh, who ran Congressman Bob Schaffer’s 1998 campaign and now is a lobbyist.

Strategic Sean: Sean Tonner, who managed Owens’ 2002 re-election campaign and now runs a GOP consulting firm.

Con Seanway: Sean Conway, chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard.

When the item appeared, Murphy joked, “At least you didn’t call me Fat Sean.”

Man, could he make you laugh. I had covered Beauprez’s first campaign, in 2002, and still remember some of Murphy’s lines. “Of course, Bob went to the early Mass,” Murphy once said. “He was a dairy farmer. He doesn’t sleep in. Now me … “

Read moreFriends and fans mourn the death of “Irish Sean”