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Nate McMurray

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.

localdemsnov62018.jpg

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.

mcmurrayhortonsnov42018.jpg

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!”

October 29, 2018 - 2:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat and Working Families Party candidate, today released a new poll showing that he is ahead by 4 points, with 47 percent of the respondents saying they will support McMurray against indicted incumbent Chris Collins.

Since the indictment in early August, McMurray has surged in the polls, earned endorsements from both the Buffalo News and conservative New York Post, and the race has been added to the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” list.

"The people of Western New York are done with the embarrassment Chris Collins has brought on our region," McMurray said. "Republicans, Democrats and independents know that it’s time to put country before party and reject a Congressman who’s out on bail. There is no stopping this movement, and we are ready to win on Election Day."

The poll also showed that Collins has a 51 percent unfavorability, while McMurray’s name recognition has surged -- 74 percent of respondents know about McMurray.

The poll was conducted by Tulchin Research from Oct. 25th to Oct. 28th and had a sample size of 400 people. The results showed that 47 percent supporting McMurray, 43 percent for Collins, and 4 percent for Reform Party candidate Larry Piegza. The margin of error is ±4 percent.

The polling memo can be viewed here.

NOTE: The FiveThirtyEight poll, with results through Oct. 26, shows Collins with a slim margin. The New York Times poll also gives Collins a small edge. It also carries this disclaimer (true of all polling): "It’s just one poll, and we’ve talked to only 486 people. Each candidate’s total could easily be five points different if we polled everyone in the district. And having a small sample is only one possible source of error."

October 25, 2018 - 5:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

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Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat and Working Families Party candidate in NY-27, was joined today by Vice President Joe Biden at The Olive Tree Restaurant, where the two greeted voters and talked about McMurray’s campaign for Congress.

Former Vice President Biden is the most high-profile leader to stump for McMurray, who has been gaining momentum as two recent polls showed a virtual dead heat following the incumbent Chris Collins’ indictment.

“I grew up with people very similar to the residents of this district, not that far from here,” said former Vice President Biden.  “Hardworking middle-class families who just want leaders who understand their challenges and work to make their lives better. It’s about creating jobs that the working families of New York can live on. Making sure their kids have safe streets and good schools, and the opportunity for a decent life.

"Folks here put country before party because they know that it’s the right thing to do. And that’s why I’m proud to support Nate because he’ll fight for those families, every day, and give them the kind of Representative they deserve.

“Vice President Biden is a prime example of a leader who has dedicated his life to serving our country and always standing up for working and middle-class families like ours.  It’s an honor to have his support,” McMurray said.

With less than two weeks to go, McMurray’s campaign has generated excitement across New York and the country as he takes on the indicted incumbent Chris Collins. Last week, the race was added to the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” list as two polls confirmed that it is neck-and-neck.

October 24, 2018 - 6:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news, notify.

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If you take Nate McMurray at his word, he often sounds a lot more like a conservative, or even a populist, than the progressive he sometimes claims to be.

He says, for example, that he's a capitalist. He believes in an American work ethic. He worries about deficit spending. He's concerned about any increase in middle-class taxes. He decries over-regulation of business. He's a gun owner who says a homeowner has a right to use a firearm to defend himself and his household. He lists Ronald Reagan as one of his childhood heroes.

On the populist side, he says Donald Trump is right about some things -- he's right about unfair trade deals and he's right that much of America has been hurt by recent economic policies and that the system has become fundamentally unfair to working Americans.

If McMurray goes to Washington, he promises to be his own man. He won't be beholden to Nancy Pelosi and he won't owe anything to any special interests.

"I am not controlled by anybody, especially not Nancy Pelosi," McMurray said Monday night during a meeting with about 50 undecided voters at Noblehurst Farms in Pavilion. "I have no relationship with her whatsoever. ... I don’t know anything about Nancy Pelosi. I’m going to go (to Washington) and I’m going to be an independent voice. If Nancy Pelosi is right about something, I’m going to say that’s right. If she’s wrong, I’m going to say that’s wrong."

Rise from underdog to legitimate challenger

When Nate McMurray announced his intention to run for Congress in New York's 27th District, he wasn't even the favorite among the five others expected to vie for the seat. Once he emerged after a few weeks as the lone Democrat still interested in running, Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried putting pressure on Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul to drop her bid for reelection and run against Rep. Chris Collins, whom she lost to in 2012. Hochul refused to switch races and has since endorsed McMurray.

Early on, McMurray adopted the hashtag on social media "#NateWillWin" but remained at best a long shot as July dragged into August. Even though ethics questions hung on Collins like bright red lights on a Christmas tree, the GOP said Collins was their man. His credentials included a first-in-Congress endorsement of Donald J. Trump in 2016 and a $1.4 million war chest. Loyalty to Trump in the 27th runs deep (the president's approval rating is 62 percent, twenty points higher than the rest of the nation) and Collins has never wavered from his support for the sometimes embattled president.

The incumbent seemed invincible.

That all changed when the multimillionaire businessman was arrested Aug. 8 and charged with securities fraud, wire fraud, and lying to the FBI, in connection with a series of stock trades his son Cameron and others made in June 2017 after Collins learned that a critical drug trial had failed for Innate Therapeutics.

Collins is accused of illegally providing confidential information about the drug trial's failure to his son during a phone call Collins placed from the lawn of the White House.

Since then, Collins has said he was running for reelection, then not running for reelection, and then was back in the race. In the intervening weeks, he has largely avoided the public and reporters while dumping campaign funds into TV commercials that portray McMurray as a Pelosi-backed extremist out to destroy the presidency, destroy the economy, and take away your guns.

None of that is true, McMurray told the crowd at Monday night's meeting.

"Every independent news outlet that has looked into these things is saying the advertisements are false," McMurray said. "The fliers are false. The advertisements are false. If the stuff (Collins) is saying is so true, he would have the guts to stand on stage and say it to my face."

McMurray has worked hard. The criminal charges have hurt Collins. While Trump supporters are steadfastly behind their man, other members of the GOP are expressing doubt and the race has tipped from a sure thing for Collins to a toss-up, according to a recent Siena poll.

Contrasting backgrounds, different messages

McMurray, a barrel-chested, 6'3" former high school bodybuilder,  makes much of his working-class background, both to burnish his populist image (though he said he never thought of himself as a populist until asked about it) and to contrast his upbringing to that of Collins.

McMurray was born in Tonawanda. His father was a proud union member, a painter, and McMurray said the chemicals in the paint at the time were more dangerous. His father died of cancer at age 39, leaving his 35-year-old wife to raise McMurray and his six siblings on her own.

He said finances were a struggle. He worked his way through Erie County Community College. He studied hard and became a Fulbright Scholar and earned his law degree and passed the bar. He's been a corporate attorney most of his adult life, most recently with Delaware North in Buffalo. He is currently the supervisor in the Town of Grand Island.

Collins, in McMurray's narrative, grew up in privilege. Where McMurray is a working-class Western New Yorker, Collins is the son of a well-to-do business executive, able to attend a four-year university in North Carolina. Where McMurray made his own way, Collins benefitted from his family's wealth. Where McMurray played by the rules, Collins thinks the rules don't apply to him.

"If we win this seat, we don’t just win for Western New York," McMurray said Monday night. "We send a message to this entire country that a guy who started at a community college, who worked every day, worked his way through law school, is able to beat maybe the richest and perhaps the most corrupt man in Congress."

McMurray also thinks his background and his attitudes, especially his full-throated support for capitalism and his support of Second Amendment rights, puts him in conflict with the mainstream of the contemporary Democratic Party.

"I do not want to run to impeach President Trump," McMurray said during an interview with The Batavian early this month at WBTA's studio. "I don't support the SAFE Act. I mean there are things about me that most Democrats when they hear me, they cringe. The reason why I'm a Democrat however is I think we need some fairness in our society.

"I think some things got out of whack. I think we need to fight for working people again. I want to restore the Democratic Party -- not of Nancy Pelosi, but the Democratic Party of my dad, who wore a union jacket with pride and believed in labor and believed in working families, and that's who I am and that's what I'm fighting for."

In our interview, we talked about issues and policy. McMurray said it was the first time a reporter had sat down and talked to him in depth about what he really believes and not just the horse race angle of a political campaign.

The economy & trade, capitalism vs. socialism

We spent most of the time talking about economics: the nature of capitalism, the threat of socialism, and Trump's trade policies.

"I want to save capitalism from where we are," McMurray said. "I think capitalism is in danger. I think we're moving towards oligarchy. I think we're moving toward a society where a few people have all the power and control the democracy and control the vote and control the propaganda that we see every day about who to vote for.

"I can see that in my own race. We have potlucks and picnics where it is very successful it seems but unless you're going into that corporate till and getting those $50,000 dollar checks, it's almost impossible to compete."

McMurray defends capitalism from a populist viewpoint.

"Right now, those rules are dominated by a clique of corporations and powerful elites," McMurray said. "It makes sense. Think about it. Why would a major corporation hire lawyers? I'm one of those lawyers they've hired in the past. Why would they hire lobbyists to shape and manipulate laws to their benefit?

"Everything from labor standards to environmental laws to everything else. They're passing the risks on to us. A congressperson is supposed to be in there making sure those laws are also fair to help people who don't have that power, not the lobbyists. We're supposed to be an advocate for regular people."

Big Pharma, economic elites and the forgotten

It's the crony capitalist controlling the system, McMurray said. The problem is perhaps most acute, in his view, in the pharmaceutical industry.

"We have to shorten (drug patents)," McMurray said. "They're almost indefinite right now so they can rake everybody over the coals. That's why we got people in Batavia driving to Canada to get medicine because we pay more than any (other country). So that's what I'm talking about. They say why aren't you a capitalist? Yeah, I'm capitalist but we have to have a capitalistic system that makes sure all stakeholders are considered and not just ones with the money to buy lawyers they can make the laws for them."

It's this sort of populist resentment of the economic elite setting the rules to benefit themselves that fires up Donald Trump's base, McMurray said, and they're right.

At 43, married for 20 years, with two sons, Moses, 10, and Luke, 7, McMurray says he wants to represent the working families of Western New York, not corporate interests. 

"I also believe that the message of President Trump is a strong message," McMurray said. "People have been forgotten in this country. Now I don't agree with his answers but I agree with that message. I believe that we have to remember there's a forgotten America. We can see that in the 27th District. Look at our population decline. Look at how things have gone downhill for so many people. We need someone to advocate for them.

"We know who is advocating for the big corporations," McMurray added. "I'm not taking any corporate money. I've denied corporate money. Look at my background as a business person. That money is accessible to me and it's been painful. It's tested my values not to take that money but we're doing everything to try to run this the way the Founding Fathers intended, from a grassroots perspective."

Trade creates opportunities for Americans

On one hand, McMurray says he shares Trump's views that the United States has gotten itself trapped in unfair trade deals based on naive and utopian views of the world. On the other, when pressed, he acknowledges NAFTA has benefitted the United States and that KORUS (the free-trade agreement with South Korea) has opened up a new market for U.S. companies (in one of his corporate jobs, McMurray helped U.S. companies find customers in South Korea, helping to create jobs in the United States, which is the exact opposite of what Collins claims in one of his campaign commercials).

The United States needs trade, McMurray said, to create opportunities for America's farmers and manufacturers.

"The biggest populations are in Asia," McMurray said. "They're in India and China. Those are growing economies where people are hungry for new items. Listen, I'm someone who has been over there for awhile. They would kill for our Fords or a nice big truck. Many Chinese guys would love to drive a brand new F-150.

"We've got to make sure they have access to it. You know many people in China would love clean milk from Batavia or clean yogurt from Batavia. To put up a wall and say we're not going to sell to these people, that's lunacy."

Again, while saying he agrees with Trump on trade, he opposes tariffs. It's hard, after all, to call yourself a capitalist and support tariffs.

"I think tariffs are bad," McMurray said. "I think that it depends on the situation. I mean a tariff is a tax, essentially. It's a tax on whatever business is being poked. Right now it's a tax on soybean farmers. (It's a tax on consumers, The Batavian interjects) Yes, it's a tax. I mean they call it a tariff but a tariff is a tax. Go back and look at our history. Go back to the Boston Tea Party. A tariff is a tax. So in principle, I'm against it."

Regarding McMurray's economic populism, in our interview, we raised the issue that much of the resentment expressed by many Americans about their economic status is driven by political rhetoric. The left in particular, for a decade or more, has decried wage inequality and wage stagnation. The message has stuck even though it doesn't fully account for how every American at every level of society is actually better off than 10, 20, even 30 years ago.

Some inequality is needed to power the American Dream. It's what drives entrepreneurs to create new things and new jobs. Complaints about wage stagnation ignore the fact that overall compensation has continued to rise, driven mainly by employers paying ever-increasing health care costs (costs that eat up potential raises), and that consumer purchasing power has increased decade by decade (see this chart from humanprogress.org).

McMurray replied that he worries that the sense of resentment people feel when the boss makes so much more than they do is an overall threat to the survival of capitalism. That perception, whether based on reality or not, needs to be addressed, he said.

"There is definitely some truth that capitalism over time is consistently (better)," McMurray said. "This is why I'm a capitalist. It consistently improves the lives of people. It consistently does so. I think if you're making the long-term argument things have gotten better over time for a lot of people. It certainly has, but I think there's also the truth that on the top what they have is getting larger and larger. And I think that's a threat to the overall system."

In 2018, McMurray finds himself in a Democratic Party that is unlike the Democratic Party of his father. The socialists are surging. Bernie Sanders remains popular and a possible  2020 presidential contender. In New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a congressional candidate, Julia Salazar, a State Senate candidate, are avowed socialists Ten more self-identified socialists across the nation have won state house races, while more than 50 percent of Democrats polled say they've lost faith in capitalism. The Democratic Socialists of American, whose adherents include Ocasio-Cortez and Salazar, now has more than 50,000 members, up from 7,000 less than two years ago.

Given a chance to talk to socialists in his midst, McMurray says he would tell them how misguided they are in their support of socialism, which has cost countless millions their lives over the past 100 years and has led to economic ruin everywhere it's been tried. He said the idea that capitalism is inherently evil is extremely dangerous.

"(To) the people who want to embrace socialism, I would ask them to look at our history and see the failures of the last 100 years in the world and the many, many people who died from these experiments," McMurray said. "You have to be very cautious about trying to use these social experiments to fix all the -- there's no magic wand to fix all the world's problems. Human beings, there are many challenges to human life. There are things we can do better, but I would ask them to remember how great our success as a country has been for the last hundred years."

Opposes 'unwinnable wars'

On foreign policy, Donald Trump campaigned as a non-interventionist. He's governed like a neo-conservative. If elected, McMurray said he would oppose unwinnable wars.

"Well, obviously, we don't we don't use U.S. troops unless we're sure about what we're doing and we have a clear goal," McMurray said. "I would never send my children to war, to death, to violence without having a clear goal and a clear understanding what we're trying to achieve. I think what we are not the world's police. I think that's a mistake. "

If elected, McMurray said it will not be his goal to impeach Donald Trump but he does think Congress needs to reassert its rightful place in our system of checks and balances and reclaim some of its power from the executive branch, though he pivoted in his answer to a state issue, the SAFE Act, to illustrate how unchecked power causes people to distrust government.

"We're creeping towards the unintentional destruction of our of our separation of powers system," McMurray said. "I think the way the executive order has been used by past presidents, like President Obama, has been gratuitous and wrong. I think the way we force -- listen, when people feel they're forced to do something or it's not done through the proper process or system they get angry. They get apathetic. That's why people hate the SAFE Act, more than anything else, because they feel it was forced upon them in an undemocratic way. They are angry about that. I agree with that. They should be angry about it."

Guns and the Second Amendment

On guns, McMurray supports the Second Amendment, though he won't side, he said, with the absolutists on the left or the right of the issue.

"I believe the extreme positions on both sides are wrong," McMurray said. "I believe in universal background checks. We have to look at certain weapons and who gets to hold them and how they get to hold them but I can promise you, I will not take action without listening to the 2A groups that oppose me now. I will talk to these guys. I will listen to them because there are a lot of experts. I am amazed at the amount of detail and research that has been done on this issue and I believe in the Second Amendment."

The gun issue in this campaign came up in a unique way a couple of weeks ago when Grand Island Republican Councilman Michael Madigan complained to local media that McMurray threatened him. He produced a recording where McMurray said, “I think you’re sick. I think you really are. I have a gun. Don’t come to my house.”

Rather than defend McMurray's Second Amendment rights, the Collins campaign used it as an opportunity to attack him, according to a statement released to the Buffalo News.

“This obnoxious and borderline violent behavior displayed by Nate McMurray is nothing out of the ordinary,” said Collins campaign spokeswoman Natalie Baldassarre. “Whether it be his off-putting comments on social media or his unprofessional conduct during town meetings, it’s clear Nate needs to learn how to keep his emotions in check. This audio is deeply disturbing and further shows Nate is unhinged.”

After Monday night's event, McMurray defended his reminder to Madigan that he owned a gun. The right to defend yourself, your family, and your home is a fundamental right most NY-27 residents support, he said. He's surprised the Collins campaign would attack him over it.

"This is a guy (Madigan) who digs through my garbage and hides in the bushes," McMurray said. "I told him, you come near my house again, I’m going to defend my family. I would say it 100 times. It’s the way I believe."

The NRA has given McMurray an F rating. On Twitter yesterday, McMurray complained that the NRA has no voting record on which to judge him and didn't even bother to ask him a single question about gun rights.

He called the NRA "corporate hacks."

The attack on his position on guns by Collins, he said, is just another way Collins lies about him.

"Some people on the other side (the left) say I’m way too pro-gun, so I think I’m OK," McMurray said. "I want reasonable steps like universal background checks but I would never do anything to take away the Second Amendment."

New York voters have been disappointed a couple of times by Democrats who campaigned with conservative and populist themes only to transform into standard-issue progressive Democrats once they obtained statewide office (Kathy Hochul, Kirsten Gillibrand), so you will have to decide for yourself whether to take McMurray at his word when he espouses conservative values.  

For McMurray's part, he says he wouldn't be where he is, living in Grand Island, serving as town supervisor, if he wasn't at least a little red.

"We have a very red town and we're proud of that," McMurray said. "We're proud of what that means. We believe in conservatism from a traditional perspective, which means you hold onto your traditions and your values and you hold them as important because they're valuable to you. They define who you are as a community. In that sense, I would call myself also a conservative.

"I mean, again, I grew up as an Eagle Scout. I grew up in a very very Christian household. I grew up reading very conservative authors. I grew up respecting and loving Ronald Reagan, like any kid in the '80s. That's who I am and I think we need to get away from this paradigm of Republicans versus Democrats. First and foremost we're Americans and Americans do not want to be taken advantage of by people like Mr. Collins."

natemcmurrayoct242018.jpg

October 23, 2018 - 10:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, the Democratic and Working Families Party candidate in New York’s 27th Congressional District, today released his multi-point Clean up Corruption Plan to crack down on corruption in Washington, D.C.
 
Corruption on both sides of the aisle is all too familiar to the people of Western New York, from Chris Collins’ recent indictment for insider trading and lying to the FBI, to the guilty pleas of former Erie Democratic Chair Steve Pigeon.
 
“Elected officials should work on behalf of the people they represent and no one else -- not corporate boards, not special interests, their constituents. It’s that simple,” McMurray said. “We know the consequences of a man like Mr. Collins all too well in this region: their greed robs us as taxpayers and their betrayal undermines our faith in democracy. It is the antithesis of public service. In Congress, I will fight for this to limit special interests’ influence on our leaders and elections. We deserve better.”
 
McMurray’s “Clean up Corruption Plan” is outlined below:

  • Enact far 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 this should be the law for all candidates;
  • 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.

McMurray has been a consistent voice for good government throughout the campaign. He has refused to accept corporate PAC money and has been endorsed by End Citizens United, a group dedicated to getting Big Money out of politics.
 
McMurray has funded his campaign the right way: 5,700 different people contributed to McMurray’s campaign in the last three months; more than 4,600 of them gave $50 or less. In fact, the average donation was under $70.

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