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BLOOMINGTON — Scott Murphy has one goal as he joins the McLean County Board: Stay the course.

"I'm not coming here with an agenda saying, 'Agriculture should get this or get that.' I'm coming here as a farmer because that's what I am," he said. "I hope to make a smooth transition."

Murphy, 57, of Downs will spend the next 10 months on the board after succeeding District 2 Republican Matt Sorensen. He was appointed Tuesday.

When asked why he recommended Murphy's appointment, Chairman John McIntyre said he took a vote of board members after they recently interviewed five candidates. He declined to provide results of the vote, but said a majority picked Murphy.

When Murphy interviewed, he said his roots as a local farmer could help the board.

"I farmed with my father, Fred Murphy, in the McLean area. ... I still farm down in that area," he said. "My entire life has been centered around agriculture in McLean County."

Murphy now owns Scott Murphy and Associates, a Lexington seed equipment company. He received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1980.

"I understand the value of being fiscally responsible. If I don't run my business in a fiscally responsible way, inefficiencies are deducted from my bottom line and come from my pocket," he said.

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After Murphy spoke, District 8 Democrat Paul Segobiano told him, "You sound like a man with dirty boots, and I appreciate that."

Murphy will serve on the county's land use, property and transportation committees. He requested to serve on the health and justice committees.

Murphy is one of five candidates for the seat's next term, beginning Dec. 1.

Sorensen resigned the seat — and the board's chairmanship — after the release of a federal indictment accusing him of defrauding State Farm of more than $400,000 in unearned consulting fees.

Other candidates for the appointment were Diane Benjamin of Ellsworth, Garth Nicholas of Heyworth, Steven Simms of Saybrook and Mike Sumner of Downs.

Because filing for the March 15 primary election closed prior to the indictment's release, Sorensen will be the only candidate listed on the ballot. He has not commented on whether he'll serve if re-elected.

Murphy, Benjamin, Nicholas and Sumner will oppose Sorensen as write-in candidates on March 15.

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Follow Derek Beigh on Twitter: @pg_beigh

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