Standing in front of about 100 members of the Democratic Party -- volunteers who signed up walk precincts on his behalf -- Nate McMurray, candidate for Congress, said something you might find surprising: Donald Trump is right about a few things.
"Let's be honest, a lot of people voted for Donald Trump because they knew they needed help," McMurray said. "It was a Hail Mary. They felt like there wasn't a party representing them and maybe they needed somebody on the outside to say, 'hey, I can shake the system up.'
"I'm going to tell you something to a lot of people in the Democratic Party will not say," McMurray added. "Mr. Trump may be a master salesman. He may be a lot of things but his message was right in many respects. The message of the fact that a lot of Americans get left behind or forgotten about."
Many of Trump's voters are now disappointed in Trump, McMurray suggested, because he hasn't delivered on his promises.
"The problem is, Mr. Trump's message has been nothing but bluster," McMurray said. "He's is not doing anything to help people in this country. We hear about a booming economy but do you think the people here in this part of the region or the people in Attica, do you think they feel things are booming and moving and things are going great?"
McMurray promised not only to fight for jobs if elected, including opposing bad trade deals, but to support health care for all, protect Social Security, and follow through on a campaign promise Trump seems to have forgotten: infrastructure.
"Within 60 days in office, we will present a joint infrastructure bill in the house," McMurray said.
Right now, it's unclear who McMurray is running against. The man he planned to beat, Rep. Chris Collins, is under federal indictment on insider trading charges. The Erie County businessman continues as the singular target in McMurray's crosshairs, at least until, and if, the GOP NY-27 chairs are able to remove Collins from the ballot and replace him with another nominee.
Next week, Democratic Party Chair Tom Perez is going to visit the NY-27 but there was a time in McMurray's congressional quest, he said, when the party bosses told him he couldn't possibly beat Chris Collins and he should save his political capital for another fight, he said he told them Collins needed to be taken out.
"I said no someone has to stand up to Chris," McMurray said. "We know he has an ethics violation. We know he has this history of saying 'I only represent my constituents who are my donors.' He had this horrible record and all knew his record even before he was a congressman. We knew about his record when he was county executive when he would fire people and defund libraries and defund all kinds of projects important to the community just because he felt like it."
There was only one person in Washington, D.C., back then willing to encourage McMurray's run, said: Louise Slaughter.
It was Slaughter, he said, who wanted to know if McMurray would "fight like hell," which has become the campaign motto.
"She said something else," McMurray said. "She said, 'this man has used the house of the people not to do people's business but to make money for himself and his family. Are you ready to stand up against that?' and I said yes and she said, 'Will you stand on his neck?' She said that.
"Now that's mean and it sounds tough but there comes time for accountability. It is time for accountability, not just for Collins but for the entire party that supported him."