He served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2004 to 2010, where he served on numerous committees and was Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee. In 2010 he was elected to the Arizona Senate, and re-elected in 2012. He was the Chairman of the Senate Government Committee in 2012 and the Judiciary Committee for the 2013-2014 session.
Murphy has been politically active since 1997, although his interest in politics and government began in childhood. He became a Republican Precinct Committeeman after the 1996 elections and held several state and district Republican Party leadership positions. He is also active in the community and non-partisan issue advocacy, particularly in the areas of taxpayer protection, chronic illness and foster care/adoption issues. He is a past Chairman of the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers (now Americans for Prosperity-Arizona), which publishes the annual "Friend of the Taxpayer" rating of the Arizona Legislature. He was a founding and long-time member of the local Hemophilia Association's Camp Committee, which organizes a summer camp for Arizona children with bleeding disorders, served as a volunteer camp counselor for 15 years, and is a past board member. He is also a volunteer Youth Coach for both junior high and high school students in the non-denominational Christian church he attends with his family.
- "I've Been Appointed AZ Senate Judiciary Chairman for 2013-14". Rick Murphy webpage. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Member page". Arizona State Legislature. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
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