VALPARAISO — City Councilman Matt Murphy, R-3rd, has announced his run for the city's top spot.

"Valparaiso is the star of Northwest Indiana, and I have been blessed to raise my family here, make a career here and serve our community. I am running for mayor because I want to keep our city moving in the right direction," Murphy said in a press release.

Murphy is seeking to replace Mayor Jon Costas, who is retiring.

Murphy, a lifelong resident of Valparaiso, cited his term as economic development director and time on the City Council as key strengths of his candidacy.

"I was proud to partner with Mayor Costas during my time as economic development director to spearhead the revitalization of our downtown and urban core. We achieved tremendous results, but now is not the time quit," Murphy said. "We have tremendous assets here in Valparaiso with an outstanding public school system and world class university. Keeping a strong partnership with our local schools and university is crucial to our city’s long-term success."

"As mayor, I will focus on cultivating a climate that attracts young families and entrepreneurs who will buy homes and put down roots in our city. A strong middle class and job opportunities will foster home ownership and keep property values strong," said Murphy, a Valparaiso High School graduate who also graduated from Indiana University and earned an MBA from Valparaiso University.

Murphy works at Valparaiso-based Jifco Products and previously worked with Bethlehem Steel, ISG and ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor. Murphy was elected to the Porter County Council in 2006.

Murphy and his wife, Polly, a registered nurse, have four children.

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Joyce has been a staff writer for The Times for more than 20 years. She is the municipal and education reporter for Porter County. She is an amateur genealogist and writes a blog, Remember your Roots, appearing online each Thursday.