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Nate McMurray

November 18, 2019 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

With the majority of the weighted vote, county chairs across NY-27 have expressed their readiness to secure Nate McMurray as the candidate to run on the Democratic line when the Governor calls the special election to replace Chris Collins. He has earned support from the Democratic chairs of Niagara, Wyoming, Monroe, Genesee, Orleans, Ontario and Livingston counties. These committees carry a combined total of 51 percent of the weighted vote for the nomination.
 
Committees across the district have gained members in record numbers after McMurray’s run in 2018 - with committees more than doubling their membership in majority-Republican counties.
 
“I am tremendously proud to earn the support of these Democratic leaders across Western New York," McMurray said. "The strength of our Democratic Party is the power in all its communities, urban, suburban and rural. As I've traveled the backroads and small towns of these counties for the past two years, I know that families are struggling and looking for new leadership on the issues they care about most – ending corruption, expanding healthcare, lowering taxes for middle-class families, and bringing back good jobs. Together, we can bring true representation for this region to Congress and I am ready to be the fighter our families, farmers and small businesses need."
 
“Nate did well in Niagara County last year against a strong political machine and has a lot of grassroots support throughout much of the county," said Niagara County Democratic Committee Chair Jason Zona. " As county chair, I support him in a special election run, and I anticipate the members of our county committee will do so as well when we convene in the near future."
 
"When Nate McMurray ran in NY-27 in 2018, he came within less than a percentage point of victory," said Wyoming County Democratic Committee Chair Cynthia Appleton. "But along with this, he did something else, something magical. He energized the rural counties. He created a movement on the ground that hasn't gone away. Nate asked them all to ‘Fight Like Hell’, they did, and will again. I'm proud to endorse him for a special election in NY-27."
 
“The Monroe County Democratic Committee is proud to join Nate to finish the fight he began in 2018 for the 27th Congressional District," said Monroe County Democratic Committee Chair Brittaney Wells. "We are confident he will fight for the hard-working people of the district who have long been without a voice. Nate will restore integrity to the office and ensure his constituents are heard."
 
Genesee Democratic County Committee Chair Michael Plitt said, “Genesee County Democrats are excited to help Nate McMurray finish the job he started last year. Our volunteers worked tirelessly and will do so again because they believe in Nate and his message. Voters in Batavia crossed party lines for him and the city went blue for the first time in years. We believe our government should work for all people, not just the elite; and we are confident Nate will be the representative we all deserve.”
 
“I am so pleased to support Nate in the upcoming special election," said Orleans County Democratic County Committee Chair Jeanne Crane. "He has visited Orleans County many times and is very aware of what our small county faces every day...few jobs, lack of affordable housing, and high taxes. We need NATE!”
 
“We need a fighter like Nate McMurray in Congress,” said Ontario Democratic Chair John Hurley. “He had record turnout here in 2018, and we are ready to build on it in 2020. Nate has traveled across our county, meeting with people and hearing their stories. From combatting the opioid crisis to creating jobs, Nate is the leader we can count on to deliver for us.”
 
“Given how close Nate came in 2018, we are thrilled to have him running for us this cycle," said Livingston Democratic County Committee Chair Judith Hunter. "It’s been too long since the people of NY-27 have had a representative that puts service over self, and people over politics. We are delighted to support him again."

November 11, 2019 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, running in the Special Election in NY-27, has received additional endorsements from local leaders today, including Genesee County Democratic Committee Vice-Chair Nikki Calhoun and Batavia Democratic Committee Chair Erica O’Donnell. They join six Democratic County Chairs in endorsing McMurray.

"Last year showed us that local Democrats and Republicans can work together for the common good of our communities. Nate McMurry brought people together by listening and adjusting his ideas for the future of NY27. He has shown us that he has what it takes to Fight Like Hell and I am proud to say I stand behind him!" said Nikki Calhoun.

“Democrats in The City of Batavia are used to being written off when it comes to national politics, but Nate McMurray embraced our grassroots enthusiasm, showed up here, and actually won the City of Batavia by nearly 500 votes. That’s why I will stand behind Nate in our upcoming special election in New York’s 27th Congressional District,” said Erica O'Donnell.

“I am proud to have Nikki and Erica’s support as I run for Congress. Genesee and Batavia were tremendously important in 2018, and I will be working hard to build on our support there in 2020. I am ready to be a leader this region can count on in Congress,” said McMurray.

Genesee Democratic County Committee Chair Michael Plitt endorsed McMurray over the weekend, saying, “Genesee County Democrats are excited to help Nate McMurray finish the job he started last year. Our volunteers worked tirelessly and will do so again because they believe in Nate and his message. Voters in Batavia crossed party lines for him and the city went blue for the first time in years. We believe our government should work for all people, not just the elite; and we are confident Nate will be the representative we all deserve.”

November 10, 2019 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, running in the Special Election in NY-27, has been endorsed by Genesee County Democratic Chair Michael Plitt. He has also been endorsed by the Democratic chairs of Niagara, Wyoming, and Monroe counties.

"Genesee County Democrats are excited to help Nate McMurray finish the job he started last year," Plitt said. "Our volunteers worked tirelessly and will do so again because they believe in Nate and his message.

"Voters in Batavia crossed party lines for him and the city went blue for the first time in years. We believe our government should work for all people, not just the elite; and we are confident Nate will be the representative we all deserve."

“I am proud to have the support of Michael Plitt and the Genesee County Democrats as I run for Congress," McMurray said. "Across Genesee, and across Western New York as a whole, families are struggling to make ends meet and our lack of representation in Washington is not helping. I will fight for the healthcare access and jobs our region needs."

October 28, 2019 - 3:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in NY-27 District, General Election 2020, news, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat running for Congress in NY-27, intends to address loopholes that lead to corruption in Congress and fight for the bills that have died in the Senate without review. 

The “For the People Act,” or HR 1, was proposed this year, but never made it to the Senate floor, is one such piece of legislation. HR1 comprehensively addressed financing of elections, ethics reform, and expanding voting rights.

These issues were a critical focus during McMurray’s race against Chris Collins in 2018, but the legislation has been stonewalled by the Republican Senate. 

“HR 1 needs to be taken seriously by Senate Republicans, because at the end of the day, corruption is not a partisan issue. As it stands, though, Republicans will not pass this legislation all at once,” McMurray said, “We need leaders that say, ‘look, the buck stops with us.’

"We’ve seen the damage that corruption can cause in the democratic process, and we need to look at each element of this legislation and fully address it.When I’m elected, I intend to work with my colleagues and propose legislation that we will get through Congress.”

McMurray’s proposal for addressing corruption in government includes proposals to:

  • Enact stricter limits on political contributions from special interests, lobbyists and wealthy special interests. McMurray has voluntarily imposed  a ban on corporate PAC money for his campaign, but believes this should be the law for all candidates.
  • Keep investigation inquiries open -- even after a member has left their seat.
  • Strip corrupt members of Congress of their pensions when found guilty of violating the public trust. 
  • Prohibit members of Congress from sitting on for-profit corporate boards.
  • Pass tougher campaign finance laws and more transparent disclosures of outside political spending.
  • Overturn the disastrous Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates for unlimited, untraceable spending in our elections.
October 10, 2019 - 11:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, running for Congress in NY-27, is calling for Chris Collins, who recently resigned in disgrace after pleading guilty to insider trading and lying to the FBI, to return the Congressional salary he has collected since his indictment in August 2018.

McMurray sent a letter to Judge Vernon S. Broderick asking the judge to consider ordering Collins to return his salary and forfeit his pension as a part of sentencing.

While calling Collins’ case “inherently tragic” and expressing sympathy for Collins’ family and victims, McMurray also pointed out that Collins had profited from his deception of voters in his district and deserved to lose his salary as a result.

“Following his guilty plea last week, Mr. Collins has admitted that his actions were in fact illegal; that he knew they were illegal; and that his claims of innocence were false. With his reelection predicated on an admittedly false claim of innocence, I urge that in sentencing, you recognize this fraud on the taxpayers of this nation and the people of New York’s 27th Congressional District and require him, in addition to whatever other penalties you deem appropriate, to repay his salary from the date of his indictment until his resignation and forfeit his taxpayer-funded pension,” McMurray wrote.

After months of proclaiming his innocence, Collins changed his plea to “guilty” last week and admitted in court that he knew what he was doing was illegal.

A copy of McMurray's letter can be seen below:

Honorable Judge Broderick,

I am writing to you to express my thoughts regarding the sentencing of Chris Collins. 

Last year, I ran and lost a race to replace Mr. Collins in the United States House of Representatives. I am proud of that campaign and our opposition to Mr. Collins. I say this to fully disclose any perceived bias or subjectivity. I share my comments with full sincerity and an understanding of the possible consequences of my words. 

First, I want to acknowledge that much about this case is inherently tragic. A district has been denied its due representation in Congress; an individual of great promise, a fellow Eagle Scout no less, betrayed his constituents and will forever have his name tainted; a son followed his father’s request and now stands on the verge of incarceration and a lifetime defined by a criminal act not of his own creation. I have true sympathy for everyone caught up in Mr. Collins’ web of illegal activity and look forward to our district moving on.

Nevertheless, justice must be served, and Mr. Collins’ actions and character must be examined. Following the indictment in August of 2018, Mr. Collins continually lied to voters by proclaiming his innocence and ultimately won re-election. As a member of Congress, Mr. Collins said he worked for his donors—not the people of Batavia, Hamburg, Canandaigua, Warsaw, or the countless other small towns and communities within New York’s 27th District. Following his guilty plea last week, Mr. Collins has admitted that his actions were in fact illegal; that he knew they were illegal; and that his claims of innocence were false. He knowingly abused the trust of the people of Western New York.

I stand with many who are angered by Mr. Collins’ actions, but I find some discomfort celebrating anyone’s demise, even his. However, with his re-election predicated on an admittedly false claim of innocence, I urge that in sentencing, you recognize this fraud on the taxpayers of this nation and the people of New York’s 27th Congressional District and require him, in addition to whatever other penalties you deem appropriate, to repay his salary from the date of his indictment until his resignation and forfeit his taxpayer-funded pension.

Sincerely, 

Nathan D. McMurray

October 1, 2019 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, the Democrat running for Congress in NY-27, reiterated his commitment to bring honest and effective leadership to NY-27 today at a press conference on the steps of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.
 
“Today is a good day for Western New York – Chris Collins, the most corrupt politician we’ve seen in this region, is gone. Following his indictment last summer, the rest of the nation saw what we already knew, and had known for a long time -- that the people of Western New York have been without real representative for the better half of a decade. Now, this district can finally move forward, and it’s time to bring responsible and honest leadership to NY-27 once and for all,” McMurray said.
 
“When I challenged Collins 18 months ago, his enablers, some of whom are now running for this seat, belittled our efforts, spread lies about me and my family, and betrayed voters by defending and lying for a guilty man. They are complicit in his crimes, and they know it. But we refused to back down, and we will not allow these enablers to rewrite history.

"The everyday people of Western New York – the nurses, the teachers, the police officers, and the working families – continue to stand with us and know that I will fight for them on the issues that impact our everyday lives. Issues like protecting healthcare, creating good jobs and fighting the corruption that has plagues our region."
 
McMurray also came out strongly supporting the announcement from Governor Cuomo that he plans to call the special election “sooner rather than later.”
 
“Democrats, Republicans and Independents all agree that this district has lacked effective representation for too long, and we need to elect someone who’s willing to speak truth to power as quickly as possible to give the people the voice they deserve in Washington.
 
“We came close in 2018 in a district that was designed for even an indicted Republican to win, but whenever this race occurs, we will be ready. Just watch, because we are just getting started."

September 30, 2019 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

Nate McMurray has issued a statement following reports that Rep. Chris Collins will be resigning.

“The real victims of Collins' crimes are the people of his district that he repeatedly lied to about his guilt. Collins and Republican party insiders robbed his constituents of the representation they need on important issues like the rising cost of healthcare, the opioid epidemic, and the fight for good-paying jobs.

"They all failed us, so I’m going to keep talking about the critical issues Western New Yorkers face every day, because that’s what public service should be about, working to make other people’s lives just a little bit better."

August 16, 2019 - 9:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins, Nate McMurray, politics, video.
Video Sponsor

Rep. Chris Collins paid a visit Thursday to the Child Advocacy Center in Batavia (more on that later) and after his visit we spoke with him about his campaign plans and his criminal case.

August 10, 2019 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, chris collins, video.
Video Sponsor

Today, Nate McMurray, who narrowly lost to Chris Collins in the NY-27 congressional race in 2018, formally announced he will seek the office in 2020.

One of the first things did after finalizing his decision to run was call The Batavian and ask for an interview, so we met this afternoon at The Coffee Press.

McMurray said that while other Republicans have said they are mounting a primary challenge to Collins, Collins is the front-runner and there is no reason to believe Collins won't be on the general election ballot in November. Collins, McMurray said, is the person he's running against.

"I think a lot of people always assume he's going to give up or go away, but he's proven that he doesn't go away easily," McMurray said. "I think that he needs to hold onto this seat to maintain his freedom. It's the best leverage point he has in his trial (on Federal insider trading charges). I think until he's gone you have to assume he's the candidate."

Collins has to go, McMurray said, because with Federal charges pending and a congressional ethics investigation that is still open, Collins is unable to effectively represent the people of the 27th District.

In 2018, McMurray opposed efforts to impeach Donald Trump. Since the release of the Mueller Report, he's changed his position. He said he realizes this stand may cost him votes in this district.

"Anyone who respects the rule of law and reads (the report), as I've read it, you'll come away very troubled," said McMurray, who is an attorney. "You'll come away thinking that Congress and the Senate have a duty to act. They really shouldn't be playing politics with this. It's too important.

"And I think that whether you support President Trump or not, if read that report, you're going to see a portrait of a man who tried to obstruct justice, who tried to manipulate the law, and who thought he was above the law."

August 10, 2019 - 11:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Today I am officially declaring my candidacy in New York’s 27th Congressional District. In some ways, it seems like I never stopped. I continue to travel across Western New York meeting with good people; listening and learning.

But I was struggling to officially commit. I know how hard it is to run, how much time it takes away from my family, and the hateful attacks we will endure. I also considered other opportunities as a business professional and even other roles as a public servant. Certainly, there is a path of less resistance.

Instead, I am choosing the path of most resistance. This week marks the one-year anniversary of Chris Collins’ federal indictment charges for insider trading. Mr. Collins and the political machine behind him remain strong despite his many ethical and legal failures. Many party loyalists continue to view him favorably, even more than his Republican challengers. He retains this support in part due to the tactics he employs; the depths he and his hateful political forces will stoop to.

Despite the perceived insurmountable challenges in 2018, our race against Collins was one of the closest in the country (decided by less than 1 percent), achieving the largest partisan swing of any first time state/ federal candidate in the country—in a district designed for a Republican (any Republican) to win easily. This was despite our side being outspent, outnumbered, and attacked day after day by some of the most dishonest and detestable TV ads ever produced for a political race.

Why did we perform so well? Many are tired of being asked to vote blindly for their party. They are tired of nothing ever-improving, nothing ever-changing. And they are tired of the politics of hate and corruption. With your support, passion, and service to our community, we can finish what we started 2018 and finally reclaim this seat on behalf of the hardworking people of Western New York. People like you, who go to work on time every day, who help their neighbors, who never cheat their business associates, and who spread kindness and goodness throughout their lives.

The last time I ran I said that we needed to “Fight Like Hell.” And we did fight like hell. We always will. But this time I will rely more on the good hearts and values I saw in the people of my district. We will empower the kindness and goodness around us. We will, “Be Kind. Do Good.”

It sounds simple, maybe some will call it soft. But could any two words be more strong in this age of professional cruelty? Kindness and goodness in an era of violence and hate is more bold than any rally cry.

All of us fall short of these values. It is easier to match rage with rage, hate with hate. But with kindness and goodness as our standard, we can overcome this sad moment in American history — a moment where all good people regardless of party affiliation can all feel the America we love fading.

Do not let America fade. America must always be, as Ronald Reagan called it, the “City on the Hill.” A country of kindness and goodness, where capitalism does not build walls; it builds ladders allowing every American to climb from poverty to flourishing. Where we do not fear science and fact, but embrace and lead the world in research and education. Where we do not pay homage to millionaires and aristocrats but value those who provide humble, honest service to family, friends and community.

In 2020, we will go to Washington to fight for healthcare for every American (now!), infrastructure (now!), for common-sense gun control (and now!), for immigration reform to help our farmers (now!), and for technologies and policies that will confront the reality of climate change. I will also fight for a capitalist system that preserves the American Dream and provides opportunities to all, and not just hoards wealth for the most connected and elite.

“Given how close Nate came in 2018, we are thrilled to have him running for us this cycle. It’s been too long since the people of NY-27 have had a representative that cares about representing the voters rather than the party. It is the one-year anniversary of Chris Collins’ indictment and the Republicans are still stuck with him and don’t know what to do. We are delighted to have Nate running again” -- Judith Hunter (chair, Livingston County Democratic Committee)

"When Nate McMurray ran in NY-27 in 2018, he came within less than a percentage point of victory. But along with this, he did something else, something magical. He energized the rural counties. He created a movement on the ground that hasn't gone away. Nate asked them all to ‘Fight Like Hell’, they did, and will again." -- Cynthia Appleton (chair, Wyoming County Democratic Committee)

“I am so pleased to hear that Nate will be running again. He has visited Orleans County many times and is very aware of what our small county faces every day...few jobs, lack of affordable housing and high taxes. We need Nate!” -- Jeanne Crane (chair, Orleans County Democratic Committee)

“Chairwoman Brittaney Wells and the Monroe County Democratic Committee are proud to join Nate to finish the fight he began in 2018 for the 27th Congressional District. We are confident that he will be successful in his effort to unseat an absentee billionaire that has not represented the hard-working people of the 27th. Nate will restore integrity to the office and ensure his constituents are heard.” -- Brittaney Wells (chair, Monroe County Democratic Committee)

Thank you all for standing with me in the battles ahead. Together we will finish what we started; together we will bring real representation to the hard-working people of Western New York.

November 26, 2018 - 5:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Statement released by Nate McMurray:

Good afternoon,
 
Nearly all the votes have been counted and Chris Collins will be returning to Washington to represent the people of New York’s 27th Congressional District. After discussing the matter thoroughly with counsel and weighing our options, we believe it’s in the best interest of this community to end this chapter and move on to the next.
 
I offer Mr. Collins my concession.
 
It was a hard decision. Part of me wants to fight. I can’t just smile and pretend this was all fair. And so my concession comes with a warning. Mr. Collins, you won by the slimmest of margins (less than half a percent), in a district designed to ensure anyone with an “R” next to their name, even an indicted criminal, could win a decisive victory.
 
Still, you almost lost. To win you had to resort to extreme measures—lying about me and my family, hiding from the media and the people you represent, and refusing to face me in the time-honored tradition of a public debate. Your strategy was by your own admission cowardice and partisan politics.
 
So I will be watching. We will all be watching. We are not going anywhere.
Together, with countless supporters across this district and throughout the country, we built something special. We ignored the naysayers and fought like hell for what we believed in.
 
We learned that at the grassroots level, the people have the power to break the political machine when we work together. We had the largest partisan swing of any first-time state or federal candidate in the country and one of the largest swings period. Together we set the foundation for incredible things to come.
 
We built this movement from the ground up via potlucks and picnics. I’m proud that we did this with little to no outside support. We raised over $1.2M in primarily grassroots donations in just over 3 months. Our campaign funds came from mechanics and farmers, school teachers, office workers, students, and senior citizens. There are few feelings more humbling than to have someone squeeze your hand at a campaign appearance, and tell you, “I just donated five dollars to your election. It’s all I can afford.”
 
For the first time in a very long time, the people of the 27th District felt that their voice was heard and that their vote mattered. My heart will not permit me to abandon those wonderful people.
  
So today, I am proudly announcing that I am forming an organization called Fight Like Hell. Fight Like Hell will be a voice for those thousands of Western New Yorkers who feel excluded, disenfranchised, and apathetic -- those who continue to reach out and ask what they can do, what’s next.
 
We want to take what we’ve learned and the tools and resources we’ve gathered and pay them forward by empowering more good people to run for office. I want more people to understand who their local leaders are (and how they can hold them accountable). Among other things, we will host Town Halls where residents will have a chance to share their voice, whether or not your Congressman thinks it’s important for you to do so or continues to hide
  
Beyond that. Mr. Collins' future in Washington remains murky. He says that he will finish his term, but as we know, Mr. Collins is not the best at keeping promises. Let me say it here first: when the time is right, I will run for office again.
  
I have met a lot of disappointed people since the election. I have felt a great deal of sadness. But be of good cheer. We are not what Mr. Collins represents. And we are not what the opportunistic politicians and pundits who supported him represent.
 
We ARE what those thousands of folks who stood up to him by standing on corners, writing postcards, and knocking doors in the cold represent. We ARE are what those Republicans who took a chance on a lanky Democrat represent. We ARE what the folks who are already gearing up for the next fight represent. Indeed, we ARE what America represents. We are hope, we are kindness, we are decency, and integrity.
 
Sure, we lost. But if we lost with integrity and fighting for Unions, the middle class, and healthcare for every American, so be it.
 
Stay strong. Protect it from the wind. But let that light glow.
 
With love, gratitude, and joy,
 
Nate

November 21, 2018 - 2:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, Nate McMurray, notify.

Two weeks after election day, with most of the outstanding ballots in the NY-27 counted, challenger Nate McMurray has pulled within 1,384 votes of Rep. Chris Collins but it's unlikely there are enough ballots left to be counted for McMurray to overtake the Federally indicted congressman.

McMurray has not conceded the race, though Collins has declared victory.

In Genesee County, in the count of provisional, military, absentee and emergency ballots, McMurray gained 71 votes on Collins, making the split 11,471 for Collins to 8,705 for McMurray. Third-party candidate Larry Piegza finished with 627 votes.

According to the McMurray campaign, and multiple other news reports, McMurray gained votes in nearly every, if not every, county in the district since election day two weeks ago.

In a statement this afternoon, McMurray thanked his supporters and vowed to continue the fight, claiming potential irregularities. He said he and his attorneys are discussing the situation and will decide what to do after Thanksgiving.

In election law in other states, when the margin separating two candidates is less than 1 percent, an automatic recount is required or a candidate can request a recount. New York law provides no mechanism for requiring a recount.

"We have seen extensive irregularities in the voting process, especially pertaining to absentee ballots, and there are issues that need to be addressed, not only for this election but for all elections in the future to ensure voters are not disenfranchised and that every voice is heard," McMurray said.

The Collins campaign has not sent a statement about the outcome of the election to The Batavian.

In Genesee County, the recount is a bipartisan affair, overseen by Richard Siebert for the Republicans and Lorie Longhany for the Democrats, with observers from both parties watching the entire process, from ballots being opened to votes being tabulated.

In Erie County, which is where McMurray picked up most of his additional votes to close the gap, which was 2,241 votes districtwide when Erie County started its vote count yesterday morning, Republican Commissioner Ralph M. Mohr told the Buffalo News the process there is similar to the process locally.

From the Buffalo News:

The Tuesday process began around 10 a.m. in a stark room at the Board of Elections on West Eagle Street. Officials first ran through a scanner the emergency ballots that somehow were jammed or encountered other problems in the machines on Election Day.

Then Mohr explained the process by which a bipartisan team from the board would open the ballots and prepare them for machine scanning. Officials lined up approximately 16 workers at carefully staged positions on both sides of a long table, with Democrats observing Republicans and vice versa.

“We have here a bipartisan team,” Mohr explained to a crowd of campaign observers and reporters, asking Democrats and Republicans assigned to the counting table to raise their hands.

Erie County officials counted 5,588 absentee ballots, 1,454 affidavit ballots, and 433 emergency ballots, with McMurray picking up 3,279 votes and Collins 2,422.  There are more ballots to count but McMurray would need nearly all of the remaining his ballots to go his way in order to pull out a victory and that is statistically improbable.

Collins is expected to be sworn in for his fourth term in January even though he faces an ongoing investigation by the House Ethics Committee, will be in the minority party, serve on committees, and awaits a Federal trial on charges that he exchanged in securities fraud, wire fraud, and lied to the FBI about his role in an alleged scheme to illegally use corporate insider information to assist family and friends in dumping stock they owned in Innate Therapeutics. Collins served as a member of the board of directors of the Austrailian biotech company.

He was also once the company's second-largest shareholder but in a recent disclosure by the company, Collins isn't even listed among the top 20 shareholders.

At one time, Collins reportedly held 3.8 million shares of the company's stock.  

By law, members of Congress must disclose their stock trades within 30 days of the transaction.

On June 20, Collins sold between $15,000 and $50,000 shares of stock (as specific as he's required to be on the disclosure form).

On that date, Innate was trading at 28 cents a share.  If he sold $50,000 worth of shares, he sold less than 180,000 shares. It's unclear when and how he disposed of his other outstanding shares (which would have been enough to keep in the top 20 shareholders of Innate if he retained the shares).

In a news report about the stock disclosure, his campaign spokeswoman called these facts "fake news."

Collins is expected to go on trial for his insider trading charges in February 2020. He vows to beat the charges and continue to serve in Congress.

November 15, 2018 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray has issued the following statement after Congressional Republicans, apparently at the request of indicted Chris Collins, blocked McMurray from attending the New Member Orientation today.

"It is customary for candidates in close races to attend New Member Orientations so that they are best prepared to serve in the event that they win. After traveling to Washington to train alongside my peers, including others in contested races, I was informed that Rep. Gregg Harper, chairman of the Committee on House Administration, had personally denied my participation even after House Democratic leadership continued to advocate on my behalf.

"I am very disappointed by Congressional Republicans catering to Chris Collins’ demands, who is under indictment on 11 felony counts and spent his campaign lying and hiding from his constituents. I came to D.C. to equip myself to hit the ground running and better serve the people of Western New York once the results are official.

"It is shameful that Collins is continuing his efforts to diminish the will of the voters and call this race before all votes have been counted. As usual, he is actively undermining the future of this district and our country. I am grateful to Democrats from the House Administration Committee for having me at the Democratic events during the orientation and offering to come to the district to provide me and my team with all of the training, support and information we will need when we win.”

November 12, 2018 - 2:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Today we observe Veterans Day, a day when we honor the sacrifices of the men and women of our armed services who have given so much to defend our democracy, keep our nation free and make our world a safer place for everyone.

It is a day worthy of discussing our elections and the importance of counting every vote, especially those of our service members who voted absentee.

As of now, several counties have begun the official canvass of the voting machines, but the vast majority remain uncounted. Tuesday is the deadline for absentee ballots to arrive, and most of the absentee ballots will be counted on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

Beyond the official canvass and counting of absentee ballots, there are a number of affidavit ballots that may or may not be valid. All of these will be duly considered in the coming days until the Boards of Elections are ready to provide final official results.

All of the Boards remain enjoined by Court Order from finalizing the results until all ballots are counted. This is a slow process, but a necessary one. 

There are multiple races across the state facing similar delays in determining the outcome, some with Democrats leading in the unofficial results, some with Republicans leading. I believe that in all of these, every vote must be counted. In those races, as in ours, the election isn’t over until all the ballots are counted.  

NOTE: McMurray also shared this on Twitter this afternoon: "TOMORROW: As the count goes on, I’m headed to DC! It’s new member orientation and some friendly members of Congress invited me down."

November 7, 2018 - 5:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray has issued the following statement on yesterday’s too-close-to-call results in his campaign for US Congress in NY-27.

“When we started this race, the insiders and pundits said we didn’t have a chance. But we gave the voters a better choice, and by earning support from Republicans, Independents and Democrats alike, we’re beating the odds and we won’t stop until the official results are confirmed. We need to make sure every voice and every vote in this region is heard and counted.

“This isn’t even yet a recount. We haven't even had an official count yet. In our democracy, every single vote matters. There are over 18,000 votes that have not yet been counted, between absentee, emergency, and affidavit ballots. If this were Election Day, we would still be holding tight. We will continue to count each and every ballot to ensure every voter in this district is heard.

“With only 2,800 votes separating us, this race is too close to call. There are too many voters who have not yet had their say. We are fighting to make sure every vote is counted because every vote counts.

“I believe that the hardworking families of this district are ready to reject the stale and ineffective tactics of partisanship politics, put country before party, and turn the page from Chris Collins’ self-serving chapter in our region’s history. We must finish counting ballots so we can finally get to work to make Washington and fixing a rigged system that both Republicans and Democrats agree is hopelessly broken.

“That starts with me, a Democrat, talking to you, my voters who are Republicans and Democrats and independents, about what we can do to solve the real problems our nation faces. We need to create secure borders, not with grandstanding and rhetoric, but with real immigration reforms that protect our sovereignty, but also makes sure our farmers have the workforce they need to succeed. It means protecting Social Security and Medicare, so Americans get the benefits they’ve been paying for their entire lives.

"It means defending the Second Amendment while passing common-sense reforms like universal background checks to keep guns away from terrorists and criminals. It means bringing good jobs back to our region, investing in infrastructure and protecting our farmers. It means standing strong against corruption in both parties to give taxpayers honest leadership they can trust.

“This isn’t over yet. We’re still fighting like hell."

November 7, 2018 - 12:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in election, NY-27, batavia, news, notify, chris collins, Nate McMurray.

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As Nate McMurray appeared on TV just after 11 o'clock tonight, a couple of local Democrats at Center Street Smoke House for election night noticed McMurray didn't look happy.

The room turned glum.

"Don't concede, Nate," one of them said.

That's was what McMurray was about to do.

With 94 percent of the precincts reporting in the New York 27th Congressional District, Rep. Chris Collins held at 2,697 vote lead, a 49.5 to 48.4 percent margin.

In Genesee County, Collins won with 2,837 more votes, 53.8 percent to 39.91 percent, or 10,986 votes to 8,149.

These are unofficial vote totals, not yet certified and do not include absentee ballots.

Reform Party candidate Larry Piegza picked up 598 votes locally, or 2.93 percent, which was fewer votes than the 651 ballot line for the 27th blank.

McMurray did beat Collins in the City of Batavia, 2,219 votes to 1,821.

The NY-27 is a 22-point Republican advantage and McMurray, a Democrat who is town supervisor in Grand Island, still managed to make it a close race, primarily because Collins has spent much of the past year under the cloud of an ethics investigation and was arrested Aug. 8 on federal charges related to alleged insider trading. 

Also in Genesee County, the controversial ballot measure to stagger and extend terms in office members of the County Legislature passed 9,508 votes to 8,981.

In contested races, Barbara Czworka won the Town of Bethany Highway Superintendent election over Michael T. Adams, 440 votes to 289 votes. For Town of Alexander Justice, Mark Anderson beat Nicholas Falcone 775 to 757. (CORRECTION: This was a vote-for-two election. Anderson and Falcone both ran unopposed, not against each other.)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not fare well among Genesee County voters, getting only 4,982 votes to 13,397 for Marc Molinaro. Larry Sharpe received 1,201 votes locally. Howie Hawkins got 252 and Stephanie Minor, 188.

UPDATE 12:28 a.m.: McMurray issued the following statement:

"While tonight's results are disheartening, my fight for a better Western New York and a better United States will not end. This is my home, and I believe we deserve better than a Congressman under indictment and out on bail, but I also respect the will of the voters, and they have spoken. This campaign was a part of a movement to fight for the rights and leadership that we deserve as Americans. Tonight’s result is a setback, but we will never give up.”

UPDATE 12:53 a.m.: McMurray just issued a new statement demanding a recount:

"After examining the numbers, the margin is 1 percent and the will of the voters must be heard. We are demanding a recount. Mr. Collins is going to need another set of lawyers.”

We'll have more election coverage sometime tomorrow.

Top photo: Democrats watch Nate McMurray's concession speech at Center Street.

November 5, 2018 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Nate McMurray, news, notify.

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In the past three weeks, Rep. Chris Collins has made eight campaign stops, according to his Twitter feed, and none of them have been in Genesee County.

His opponent, Nate McMurray, made eight stops in just two days, including one Sunday morning at Tim Hortons in Batavia.

"I feel we're going to win," McMurray said. "I mean, I had people in Albion and Medina yesterday running up to me or stopping cars because they recognized me. I never had that experience in my life."

Whether McMurray's prediction of victory is confidence or overconfidence, we won't know until late Tuesday night but McMurray said he also feels the weight of the world when he thinks about winning. He knows it will mean that a lot of Republicans in this bright red district put their faith in him.

"I had Republicans coming up to me saying 'we believe you, do not let me down,' " McMurray said. "I could see they were serious, like, 'we've been let down, don't let me down,' and I'm like 'I'm not lying. This is who I am. I'm going to fight for you and I'm going to learn from you.' And I think honestly, I'm not trying to be glib, but I have learned from the people of this region and I'm humbled by it."

McMurray, who told reporters he's lost 30 pounds since the campaign started, has made an issue of the tribalism and cynicism that has gripped American politics and has vowed to break down those barriers. That, too, will create a responsibility for him if he wins, he said.

"I think a lot of people are so beaten down by politics and they become so pessimistic and just so dismissive of their political leadership," McMurray said. "For whatever reason, they're starting to feel hope in me in this campaign and I feel a great duty towards them, and on both sides of the aisle.

"Obviously, as a Democrat running here, I'm going to have a bigger burden to prove to Republicans that they can trust me and they can vote for me again."

He said he has run his campaign with little to no Democratic party input or influence and very little help, and vowed that if he won he would not buckle to pressure from Democratic leaders to conform to their views of the world.  

The latest polls show the race a toss-up that will come down to the wire. The state just released updated registration numbers for the NY-27 that may put a little wind behind McMurray's sails. The Democrats registered 1,848 voters compared to only 467 for Republicans.

Previously: Profile: Nate McMurray, Democratic capitalist, bucking the trend of his party

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November 2, 2018 - 5:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, batavia, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat and Working Families Party candidate in NY-27, will be visiting all eight counties this weekend as a part of his grassroots Get Out the Vote effort to talk to as many voters as possible across the district. He will travel to the counties in the following order: Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, Ontario, Monroe, Livingston, Wyoming. The tour will end with a GOTV rally with Talia Shire, an Oscar-nominated actress of two of the most successful movie franchises in history, the "Rocky" and "Godfather" sagas, at the campaign’s headquarters in Hamburg.

McMurray will be at Tim Hortons, 20 Main St., Batavia at 8:45 a.m., Sunday, for 30 minutes.

November 1, 2018 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat and Working Families Party candidate for Congress in NY-27, today pledged to vote against any cuts to Medicare and Social Security once he is elected.

"Social Security and Medicare are vitally important to so many folks, who now live in fear that these programs will be cut by politicians in Washington," McMurray said. "My opponent voted to create the deficit that is now being used as a justification for these cuts; he was wrong then, and he’s wrong now if he refuses to take this pledge.

"These are programs that seniors have paid into their entire lives and benefits they have earned. But Chris Collins lacks the independence to stand up for our seniors, and the integrity to admit that he was wrong."

McMurray has made Social Security and healthcare key components of his campaign, a stark contrast to indicted incumbent Chris Collins who has a 0 percent rating from the Alliance for Retired Americans.

McMurray believes Social Security and Medicare are earned benefits, and he notes that many senior citizens of Western New York and across the country depend on them to survive. He believes in protecting coverage for preexisting conditions and making healthcare accessible to all Americans.

October 31, 2018 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

For the second time in the past year, indicted incumbent Chris Collins has ducked high school student who want to hear from their representative. Nate McMurray, Democrat and Working Families Party candidate who is challenging Collins in NY-27, condemned Collins for his refusal to engage with high school students and failure to participate in any debates with less than a week before the election.

"It says a lot about a guy if he’s too scared to talk to high school students, and it makes it even worse when it’s his job to listen to the people he represents,” McMurray said. “In the spring, it was Clarence students wanting to talk about gun violence in schools.

Today, it was St. Joe’s students who have proudly hosted debates for the last 30 years. These aren’t political operatives or insiders, they’re young people who will be the future of our country and who just want to have a voice in the discussion.”

In April, Collins declined an invitation to a “Town Hall for Our Lives” hosted by Clarence High School students, calling the students “radical partisans.”

Today, St. Joe’s learned that Collins planned to skip the debate from a local radio broadcast. McMurray attended both events and plans to meet with Clarence High School students on Friday. He will also be at the forum hosted by the League of Women Voters.

"It’s typical of millionaires like Collins to look down on voters like us, and he just doesn’t have the backbone or character to talk with students or debate. Eleven felony counts, out on bail and a flight risk, and he just makes himself more of an embarrassment to our community with his cowardice. He’s got one more chance today, and then it’s three strikes and he’s out -- of office!”

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