Baker. Entrepreneur. Governor?

Brian Murphy, WG08, is founder of the Smith Island Baking Company.

Brian Murphy, WG’08, is founder of the Smith Island Baking Company. (Photo by Tommy Leonardi)

In the spring issue of Wharton Magazine, we’ll be profiling Brian Murphy, WG’08, a commodities trader-turned-entrepreneur who last summer launched a high-end bakery in the least likely of locations: Tiny, isolated Smith Island, Maryland.

As you’ll read in our feature (the magazine should be arriving in your mailbox sometime in late April), the Smith Island Baking Company is keeping Murphy rather busy.

But apparently, not busy enough—because Murphy recently decided that he’s going to run for governor. Maryland’s gubernatorial election is set for Nov. 2.

“Clearly, I’m relatively young and I don’t have political experience,” Murphy told me earlier this week. “But I believe our state is facing issues that are just too important not to be addressed.”

Maryland’s current governor is Democrat Martin O’Malley, a former Baltimore City mayor who has faced some tough sledding in Annapolis. Murphy plans to run as a Republican, and as a result will have to take on O’Malley’s predecessor, Robert Ehrlich, who appears likely to make another run himself in the Republican primary.

Suffice to say, Murphy faces pretty long odds. But he says he’s committed to making a run anyway—if only because he believes the state needs him to.

“I’m doing this for the same reason that I started the bakery,” he says. “Because it’s the right thing to do.”

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