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March 27, 2020 - 2:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, news, NY-27, covid-19.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democratic congressional candidate in the April 28th Special Election in NY-27, called on Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature to reschedule the April 28th Special Election due to the coronavirus crisis and its growing threat to Western New Yorkers.

McMurray criticized opponent Chris Jacobs’ insistence to hold the upcoming election despite significant public health risk and election commission boards that have limited time and resources.

“We are in a war right now to preserve public health, at a war with this virus," McMurray said. "Our election commissioners and local leaders are unified in calling for a delay in the Special Election. I fought for this seat for over three years, I know how important it is that NY-27 gets representation.

"My opponent doesn’t seem to get the risk, nothing is more important than the health of our people. Jacobs’ push to move forward is both selfish and reckless. Why is Jacobs advocating for the same April 28 election date that the Republican Party originally sued to prevent?He is facing a heated primary in June and restricting the voice of the people on April 28th will benefit him.

"His concern should not be his political ambitions but the health and well-being of the people of Western New York. This is the same man who voted against paying victims of the coronavirus; he voted against sick leave. His uncle's business Delaware North, which funds his campaign, embarrassed Western New York this week by putting thousands of employees on leave without pay and creating a backlash from Buffalo to Boston.

"The Jacobs family are the only NHL franchise owners not to pay its employees benefits during this pandemic. These hardworking employees deserve more."

Earlier this week, the New York State Elections Commissioners’ Association called for immediate action by the Governor and New York State Legislature to protect the electoral process during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Association, a bipartisan good government group that includes election commissioners from across the state, cited critical shortages of inspectors and polling places due to the ongoing health crisis.

There are 15,000 coronavirus cases in New York State, a number that is expected to peak in 14 to 21 days and accounts for 5 percent of the worldwide total. Since Sunday, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations has doubled and cases in the ICU have risen 82 percent.

March 24, 2020 - 11:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, covid-19.

Press release:

State Senator and Republican nominee for Congress Chris Jacobs is urging the suspension of State Sales Tax collection for small businesses for three months to provide financial relief to small businesses hurt as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic.

“Small business is the backbone of our economy and community in Western New York, and throughout the state and therefore I am asking the Governor to suspend sales tax collection so that businesses can use this capital to cover costs and employee paychecks as we weather this crisis,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs is asking New Yorkers to sign his petition calling on the sales tax suspension. Supporters can sign the petition to Governor Cuomo online at https://action.jacobs4congress.com/cuomo-small-business/

“While businesses are closed down, or observing only delivery or takeout options, they are still accumulating costs for the operation of their business,” Jacobs said. “By removing the sales tax burden we can help our small businesses through this economic hardship and ensure they survive to help us rebuild our economy.

“As a small businessman, I understand all too well the tough road lies ahead for our business owners and employees and in Congress, the economic viability of Western New York’s small businesses and their employees will be my first priority."

March 23, 2020 - 12:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, news, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat running in the special election to fill the Congressional vacancy in NY-27, is urging national leaders to add critical provisions to relief legislation that will protect working families and individuals hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. McMurray highlighted significant inadequacies in Congress’ second COVID relief package that President Trump signed last week.

 “We are facing an unprecedented crisis and the future is uncertain,"McMurray said. "Now is not the time for the same tepid responses that have failed before, we must be bold and offer real solutions. Across this nation, as American families are facing the challenges of social distancing, many of them are now also being hit with the disastrous economic effects of COVID-19 business closures and shutdowns.

"The burden of this crisis is disproportionately hitting low-wage workers, while meanwhile in this legislation, the most elite and powerful are protected from almost any discomfort.”

McMurray’s immediate suggestions for a strong response to the COVID-19 crisis:

           1. Provide rapid, direct support to American households. Legislation should include substantial measures to stop the outflow of cash from families and extend mortgage and rent debt relief. Additional legislation is also needed to pass immediate student loan debt, indefinitely. American families must focus their spending and saving for basic commodities to maintain their health at this time. Additionally, each American should be provided an inflow of cash in a direct and immediate cash payment of at least $1000, similar to a universal basic income, to reduce the hardship and blunt the oncoming recession.

           2. Extend medical benefits. Now is the time to cover all 20 million uninsured Americans. As the virus spreads rapidly across our country, no one should be without care. Additionally, we must ensure that protections are in place for all Americans that want a free test for COVID-19, regardless of their immigration status. This is essential to avoid further spread.

           3.  Protect and expand rural hospitals. Expand funding for these critical care centers and enact debt forgiveness now for medical professionals and doctors that work in these clinics and hospitals.

           4. Offer targeted loans to both small and large businesses. Loans offered will cover extended sick leave and sick pay for employees across the board, regardless of the size of the business. Protections will be put in place for workers that guarantee employers will not slash pensions or other benefits while a worker is on sick leave.

“The question isn’t how do we pay for this? We already are paying for it," McMurray said. " For years, we have been told a trickle-down economy and forced tax cuts for the wealthiest will benefit the common good, yet these decisions have threatened our social security system and created significant social and economic barriers individually and as a nation.

"Once again, as a result to this crisis, the GOP is attempting to float income tax cuts and further business cuts that will only benefit the rich. This type of shortsighted and small-minded thinking will not help our families overcome this crisis. The COVID-19 virus has reminded us that it is the American family that is the soul of our economy, and it needs protecting more than ever.

"Just as FDR outlined in his Second Bill of Rights, all Americans must be guaranteed the right of economic security and independence, including medical care, adequate food, and protection from the fears of sickness and unemployment. When I am your representative in Washington, I will fight for these protections, for our country and our future.”

March 23, 2020 - 12:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Chris Jacobs.

Press release:

 Chris Jacobs, candidate for Congress (NY-27), has filed more than 7,600 Republican signatures, easily qualifying him for the June 2020 primary and subsequent November General Election, despite the petition gathering window being drastically shortened.

“I first want to thank every single one of the hundreds of supporters who went out to carry my petitions and worked very hard to bring in thousands for our campaign,” Jacobs said. “This process, gathering signatures in February when the snow is blowing is always a difficult task, but this year it became increasingly difficult given the shortened window.

“Our team, in coordination with the Republican County Chairs and their Town Committees, have worked tirelessly to accomplish this feat, and we are ready to bring home big victories for President Trump and our candidates in November."

March 19, 2020 - 10:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Starting this afternoon at 4 p.m. Nate McMurray, candidate for U.S. Congress in New York’s 27th District, will hold digitally accessible Town Hall-style events in an effort to stay accessible to voters during COVID-19 pandemic and necessity of social distancing. The events will be streamed live and participants will have the opportunity to ask the candidate questions and receive answers in real time.

“This is a difficult time for our nation; the already struggling families of this district will be hit hard by this pandemic and need access to their leaders and candidates now more than ever," McMurray said. "The focus of our campaign has always been to lift up the good people of this region; while the coronavirus will inarguably impact the way we interact with them, it’s critical that we maintain open lines of communication and support for one another.

"My team is committed to utilizing alternative forms of engagement in order to address concerns, discuss the issues that matter most to NY-27 residents, and connect people with the resources they need throughout this crisis."

McMurray will begin live streaming today at 4 p.m. and will start every session by reading to the children of those participating. Those interested in attending the live session may access the event here.

McMurray is a native of North Tonawanda. He ran for Congress in NY-27 in 2018 and lost by less than 1 percent of the vote. He is a family man, an Eagle Scout, and one of seven children raised by a single mother when his father died of cancer at the age of 39. McMurray worked his way through community college, earned a bachelor’s degree at SUNY Buffalo, then earned a law degree from California’s Hastings College of Law.

The U.S. government awarded McMurray a Fulbright Scholarship to study the development of constitutional democracy in South Korea. His academic successes led to positions in private law practice, where he represented U.S. business interests in Asia. He was formerly the town supervisor of Grand Island, a conservative community in Western New York, where he was instrumental in bringing fiscal responsibility to local government and millions of dollars in new business investment to the town.

March 18, 2020 - 1:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in NY-27, Beth Parlato, covid-19, news.

Press release:

Beth Parlato, Conservative Republican candidate in the NY-27 congressional district race, today released the following statement regarding the COVID-19 pandemic:

“COVID-19 is not a political problem or a partisan problem. This is an American problem. It’s a world problem. It’s a pandemic. And it needs to be taken seriously, especially for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

"With that, our campaign is shifting our focus to assisting the most vulnerable and those in need in NY-27 during the coronavirus crisis.

"I will not sit idly by as our neighbors are struggling. We are here to serve the community. Our campaign will be using our website as a resource for those in need. Anyone in need in NY-27 can submit a request for essential food and household items. We will be fielding requests, collecting donations, organizing volunteers and deliveries to our vulnerable neighbors who cannot leave their homes.

"You can sign up for assistance, to volunteer or donate items at bethforcongress.com.

"We are in this together. We will get through this together.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline:        
Helpful websites for COVID-19 updates: 

March 17, 2020 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news, covid-19.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, candidate for Congress in New York’s 27th District, is cancelling all public events scheduled ahead of the April 28th special election.

With 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Western New York, the campaign has stressed the importance of following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations to minimize the spread of the virus and best protect those most susceptible to the illness. 

In place of public events, the campaign will shift its outreach efforts to online communications and asks those interested in volunteering to learn about alternative forms of engagement at www.votemcmurray.com/volunteer

"This is a pandemic, and we must take it seriously," McMurray said. "Going forward, we are postponing all public fundraisers and rallies of any sort. While this race remains important, we must put the health and safety of people over politics.

"We must work creatively and collaboratively because what we do now will set the tone for other upcoming elections, including the General Election in November. We have to pull together and find a way. That is what Americans do, that is what Western New Yorkers do. We will rise to the occasion. Stay with us. Stay positive. Stay strong.”

Efforts are underway to cooperate with the County Boards of Election to develop protocols to ensure ballot integrity, including a call for universal access to absentee ballots.

McMurray has reached out to the Democratic National Committee for their support in ensuring all voters will be able to participate in the special election. McMurray and his campaign team developed the following guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the safety and health of the community:  

1. All campaign events, fundraisers and volunteer opportunities will be moved to phone outreach and online forums. 

2.  All campaign offices remain open and staff are available for literature pick up and to provide technical support to volunteers as needed.    

3. McMurray’s campaign staff are identifying community partners engaged in COVID-19 coordinated care and response; McMurray has pledged to offer his teams’ support and resources as needed to serve the public in this time of need.

March 11, 2020 - 12:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Our district, NY-27, is home to the worst metropolitan job market in the country. 

Yes, you read that right: worst in the country. It’s clear that our leadership has failed us. 

It’s not that our district is lacking in resources and potential — far from it. Every time I drive across the Skyway in Buffalo, I look out at Lake Erie. I see windmills along the waterfront and parts of the shoreline restored. Along the paths of Tiff Nature Preserve, birds will literally eat out of your hand as hulking abandoned factories, standing relics from a lost era, loom in the background. 

Looking at it, I’m reminded of Ireland — the abandoned moss and ivy-covered castles of Cork and Chashel. But for the castles and the factories alike, no one is coming back anytime soon. And those factories once employed thousands of people. 

So where will the next generation work? How will we support this region and our families? The challenge is that many of the jobs we lost didn’t only go to Mexico or Asia — they just no longer exist. Automation and advances in technology will continue to take more jobs in the coming years. 

But we can’t lose hope. There are answers to these problems if we have the courage to take action and build on our strengths. 


Farming and agriculture is still our biggest local industry, but we must rethink its importance as a matter of national security. Think of it: If we can’t grow here, what country will we go to for food? And we have the best land in the world, dark, rich, and more arable land per mile than almost any nation or state. 

Like it or not, these farms need workers. That proves troublesome for the 80 percent of Upstate communities that have lost population in recent years. Immigration reform and a proper visa program (so migrants are not “illegal”) is a must. And our President needs to stop using our farmers as cannon fodder in failed trade wars. 

Finally, we must look at new crops. The hemp and cannabis industry continues to grow across our country — and the world. We can’t be the last to accept this and lose out on the benefits, including new jobs and a major boost to our economy. Time is running out. 


To truly catch up to the modern era, we also need to embrace new technology. One hundred years ago, we laced this country in electric and telephone wire. Today, we must lace it with broadband to end the cable monopoly’s stranglehold on the local economy. Developing a network of broadband wires that send information at the speed of light will employ tens of thousands of union workers, including workers in the healthcare industry. Solar and wind projects — properly sited in a way that does not unreasonably mar our natural spaces — will do the same. 


We must invest in trade schools and journeymen programs. Mechanics, plumbers, and electricians, to name a few, are needed right now. These are jobs that aren’t going anywhere. We will always need people to keep the lights on. Key cities in our region have some of the highest child poverty rates in the country and dismal high school graduation rates. If we invest in our schools, we will not lose another generation of builders and creators. 


Crucially, we have to pass an infrastructure bill that will rebuild America. I have seen the mighty new airports, bridges, and superhighways built by our competitors in Asia. The tallest building in the World? It’s not in New York City. The longest suspension bridge? It’s not the Golden Gate. We built the vast majority of our infrastructure over 100 years ago. An investment in America is an investment in the jobs of the future. 


When our country had a high rate of unionization, the middle class had more buying power, more vacation time, and more savings for retirement. But our President is working to destroy unions. We must reverse this trend. 

Look at the facts. Trump-appointed two Supreme Court justices who have documented anti-union and anti-worker voting records. He appointed Antonin Scalia’s son (Eugene) to be the Secretary of Labor. Eugene’s entire career has been focused on anti-union litigation. And under Trump, the National Labor Relations Board has whittled down union rights by undercutting union apprentice programs, making it easier for employers to hire non-union subcontractors, and allowing employers to dis-regard and not recognize unions. 


We can do this; I can help. I represented some of the biggest companies in the world. I helped create jobs as a local leader, attracting major businesses by investing in infrastructure and new technology. Under my leadership on the local level, buildings that were once closed for generations reopened, our town reached new levels of financial stability (under the tax cap!), and we filled dormant industrial space with new business.

Give me this job, and together we’ll get thousands more. 

Nathan D. McMurray
Candidate for Congress in NY-27

March 5, 2020 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat running to represent the 27th Congressional District, today released his proposal for job creation and economic growth in Western New York.

McMurray’s plan includes funding critical infrastructure development; investing in stable jobs in education and healthcare; encouraging the development of rural broadband and clean energy industries; promoting workforce training and small businesses; and raising the minimum wage.

As the vast majority of new private sector jobs in the state continue to be concentrated in New York City, McMurray’s plan outlines strategies to spur economic growth in Western New York. 

“There is an incredible wealth of talent and potential in Western New York — it’s just a matter of harnessing it,” McMurray said. “We have the opportunity, with the right resources, investment, and training, to sustainably grow our economy and make sure all working families are lifted up in the process.

"Our current president and leaders in Congress promised to get the job done on infrastructure and have failed to deliver. It’s clearer than ever that we need new leadership in Washington. 

“As your representative, I would ensure that we have the funding to repair our bridges and roads, that we’re investing in the healthcare and education sectors, and that our region is a leader in emerging industries like solar and wind where sited properly. Our district needs to have a fighter in Washington who will advocate for these policies, and win.”  

As the town supervisor of Grand Island, McMurray created jobs by attracting major business, investing in infrastructure and green technology, and filling dormant industrial space with new business. 

McMurray’s plan to expand job opportunities and spur economic growth includes: 

  • Funding and expanding infrastructure development: For years, our state government has diverted money away from critical investment in our bridges and roads, leading to crumbling infrastructure in our region. The federal government can, and should, step up to invest in transportation, infrastructure, and mass transit where we need it most. Legislation like the bipartisan BUILDS Act can help support workforce training programs for jobs in the infrastructure industry. 

  • Encouraging the development of rural broadband: Internet access is a fundamental necessity in the modern workforce — and yet, 80 percent of the 24 million American households that do not have reliable, affordable high-speed internet are in rural areas. Investing in broadband access for our communities will spur good union jobs and bring our economy into the 21st century. 

  • Investing in the education and healthcare sectors: “Eds and meds” are powerful economic drivers in our region, providing good, sustainable jobs for thousands. We must prevent further funding cuts to these sectors — which result in job cuts — and actually invest in the hospitals and public schools that support our community. We can do this by supporting the Rebuild America's Schools Act, which invests $100 billion in public school facilities to create jobs and improve schools, and the Strengthening Our Rural Health Workforce Act of 2019, a bipartisan bill that supports key rural health workforce programs. 

  • Supporting local small businesses: We should be supporting small businesses that fuel local job creation, not providing tax breaks and incentives to the wealthiest among us. We should support the creation of an Office of Emerging Markets within the Small Business Administration to expand resources and assistance to small businesses in rural areas. 

  • Investing in the burgeoning solar, wind, and other sustainable energy industries: Investing in the solar and wind industries in our region helps us create jobs while also helping to meet our nation’s clean energy goals. These pieces of infrastructure must be properly sited. We can also support legislation that provides workforce training in the clean energy industry for our veterans. 

  • Exploring new crops to grow in our region, including hemp and cannabis: New York State took steps in 2019 to regulate the production and sale of hemp products, but we still need to do more to protect and support in-state growers and fully take advantage of this economic opportunity. If New York legalizes adult use recreational marijuana, there’s huge potential for economic growth if we take steps to assist in-state farmers and properly regulate. 

Nate McMurray is a native of North Tonawanda. He ran for Congress in NY-27 in 2018 and lost by less than 1 percent of the vote. He is a family man, an Eagle Scout, and one of seven children raised by a single mother when his father died of cancer at the age of 39.

McMurray worked his way through community college, earned a bachelor’s degree at SUNY Buffalo, then earned a law degree from California’s prestigious Hastings College of Law. The U.S. government awarded him a Fulbright Scholarship to study the development of constitutional democracy in South Korea. His academic successes led to positions in private law practice, where he ably represented U.S. business interests in Asia.

McMurray was formerly the town supervisor of Grand Island, a conservative community in Western New York, where he was instrumental in bringing fiscal responsibility to local government and millions of dollars in new business investment to the town.

March 5, 2020 - 12:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democratic congressional candidate in the April 28th Special Election in NY-27, gave the following statement after the release of Chris Jacobs’ first TV ad.

"Two elections in a row, Western New Yorkers have had to deal with out-of-touch millionaires named Chris who prioritize lying about me and racist fear-mongering, instead of addressing the critical issues our families face each day. 

"Think about this. His first commercial is not about expanding healthcare, creating jobs, or building our infrastructure; it's about lies and hating foreigners. While seniors and hardworking families here continue to go without healthcare and struggle to make ends meet, he's ignoring real threats and trying to scare people with race-baiting politics. 

"Clearly Jacobs and the rest of Chris Collins’ cronies learned nothing from the incredibly close election results in 2018. Everyday Americans in this district have had enough of their self-serving approach to government and divisive politics. 

"While my opponent proudly touts his support of President Trump and his budget cuts to Medicare and Social Security, I will continue to fight for access to affordable healthcare, education, and quality jobs for the families in NY27.

"If he wants to try to win with xenophobic commercials, making up nonsense about me, and having GOP SuperPAC’s follow me around with cameras to make weird attack ads, he's more out-of-touch and more a repeat of Chris Collins than we all thought," McMurray said.

March 4, 2020 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

A new television ad released by the Jacobs Campaign today will highlight President Trump’s endorsement of Chris Jacobs for his support for securing our borders.

In his endorsement of Jacobs, the President stated, “Chris will be a great Congressman who will always fight for the people of New York. He supports our MAGA Agenda and will continue to secure our Border.”

“In a time where democrats like Bernie Sanders and Nate McMurray support open borders and sanctuary cities, I am focused on Americans’ safety," Jacobs said. "I’ve been to the southern border and have been briefed by our great Border Patrol Agents. I have seen firsthand the problems we are facing as a nation, and in Congress I plan to work with our President to continue securing the border."

Jacobs toured the Rio Grande Valley in October of 2019 and received extensive briefings from Border Patrol Agents stationed in the area. He participated in a tour of the Southern Border and toured three different detention facilities.

The Jacobs ad will air on broadcast and cable stations in the Buffalo and Rochester markets.

February 28, 2020 - 6:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley announced today that he has endorsed Sen. Chris Jacobs in the April 28 Special Election for U.S. Congress. Jacobs is running to serve the remainder of former Rep. Chris Collins’ term representing New York’s 27th Congressional District.

The district spans from the suburbs of Buffalo through the Finger Lakes and Canandaigua with Hawley’s hometown of Batavia sitting at the heart of the district.

“I am wholeheartedly endorsing Senator Jacobs to serve as our next Congressman,” Hawley said. “In an era highlighted by radical ideals and attacks on our values, we need a strong leader and proven legislator who will stand up for our beliefs here in Western New York.

"Senator Jacobs is a successful businessman with a proven track record of creating jobs and giving back to his neighbors philanthropically. I endorse Senator Jacobs in the April Special Election and am confident he will serve with honor and dignity as our next Congressman.”

UPDATE: The Chris Jacobs campaign also put out a press release that contained this statement:

“I am beyond honored and grateful to receive Assemblyman Hawley’s endorsement," Jacobs said. "It has been an honor serving beside him in the State Legislature and he has been a true conservative fighter for the people of Western New York.

"With his endorsement, I feel confident that we can usher in a new era of prosperity in our region and send strong conservative leadership to Washington."

February 24, 2020 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Chris Jacobs, NY-27.

Press release:

President Donald Trump’s recent endorsement of Republican Chris Jacobs is highlighted in a new radio ad, which will begin airing across the 27th district today (Feb. 24).

President Trump endorsed Jacobs on Tuesday saying, “Chris Jacobs will be a great Congressman who will always fight for the people of New York.”

“I’m grateful for the President’s endorsement and trust,” Jacobs said. “As Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Nate McMurray attempt to drag this country toward socialism, I’m proud to stand with President Trump in the fight to put America first, secure our borders, grow our economy and honor our veterans.”

The ad:

MAN: Who does President Donald Trump support for Congress?

WOMAN: Chris Jacobs.

MAN: Why did President Trump endorse Chris Jacobs?

WOMAN: Because Chris Jacobs will have Trump’s back in Congress.

MAN: Chris Jacobs will vote every time to help President Trump finish building the wall that will secure our southern border.

WOMAN: Chris Jacobs will be on the Trump team in the fight to hold sanctuary cities that hide illegals from federal law enforcement accountable.  

MAN: Chris Jacobs will fight side by side with President Trump to drain the swamp, secure the border and keep our economy growing.

WOMAN: It’s no wonder that President Trump gave Chris Jacobs his complete endorsement, tweeting that Jacobs supports our Make America Great Again agenda.

MAN: President Trump said Jacobs “will continue to Secure our Border. Loves our military, vets and is strong on the 2nd Amendment.”

WOMAN: Cast your first vote for President Trump this year by supporting Chris Jacobs for Congress on April 28th.

JACOBS: I’m Chris Jacobs and I approve this message.

ANNOUNCER: Paid for by Jacobs for Congress.

February 20, 2020 - 3:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Today, President Donald Trump endorsed Chris Jacobs in a tweet. Nate McMurray had this to say in response:

“It’s a good thing the president endorsed Jacobs early, because it took several years for Jacobs to endorse the president or even say his name,” McMurray said. 

“If I was Stefan Mychajliw, Beth Parlato, or Rob Ortt, I’d feel pretty betrayed right now. Jacobs became a Trump supporter overnight to try and win this position. Money talks. I invite President Trump to come to NY-27. I invite him to stand on a stage, look me in the eye and explain to me and the people of NY-27, why he wants to make cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

"I want to see what he has to say for himself for taking away care from our elderly, our rural hospitals, or all those people who earned the right to those benefits through years of hard work. He needs to explain, because Jacobs sure can’t.”

February 17, 2020 - 3:02pm

duane_whitmerlib2020.jpgPress release:

Duane Whitmer, the Libertarian Party candidate for Congress in the 27th District of New York, today accepted Democrat Nate McMurray’s invitation to Chris Jacobs to debate McMurray eight times during the election.

So far, Jacobs has ignored the invitation eight times.

“Chris may be afraid to debate Nate,” Whitmer said, “but Nate is apparently also afraid to debate me as he left me out of the invite. So, I hereby accept Nate’s invitation to Chris to debate Nate.”

Whitmer, who is the chair of the Erie County Libertarian Party, received the endorsement from the district county chairs of the Libertarian Party last night and is also petitioning to be on the Right to Bear Arms ballot line for both the special election on April 28th and the general election in November.

“I will really spice up this debate that would otherwise feature two corporate lawyers affiliated with Delaware North who are political centrists,” said Whitmer. “Without a candidate who proposes real change for the 80 percent of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, the audience could very well fall asleep from sheer boredom.”

Whitmer, who is a tax adviser who represents taxpayers before the IRS, said his key issues if nominated would be: ending the twin wars on peaceful gun owners and drug owners; ending the pointless foreign undeclared wars started by George W. Bush and Barack Obama; and drastically cutting federal spending to stop borrowing from our grandchildren to pay for our own greedy programs.

Whitmer, who ran track at Fredonia State, is originally from Franklinville and now lives and works in Lake View.

February 16, 2020 - 7:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, news, notify.

NY-27 resident Michael Caputo, a political strategist with ties to Donald Trump, took to Twitter today to ask why didn't we, in our story about Nate McMurray being put on unpaid leave by his employer, Delaware North, mention that McMurray has said "insulting things" about his company and its owners.

In a statement in the tweet directed at another reporter from Upstate New York, Caputo said, "how long would you last if you tweeted insults about the owners of (the name of the reporter's newspaper)." 

"Do more reporting," Caputo said.

Caputo raised a valid point -- at least insofar as we should have taken a closer look at those tweets, so we did.

In the past 30 days, McMurray has mentioned, either directly or indirectly, Delaware North or the Jacobs family 18 times. 

Sixteen of those tweets were posted since Feb. 8, which would have been after McMurray said he was placed on unpaid leave.

McMurray is running for the NY-27 seat vacated in September by Rep. Chris Collins, who pled guilty to federal insider trading charges. The family of McMurray's opponent, Chris Jacobs, owns Delaware North, where McMurray, licensed to practice law in New York, is a VP of business development.

Attempts to reach Jacobs or a member of the campaign for comment have been unsuccessful.

In an interview with Caputo this afternoon, Caputo said McMurray's tweets are problematic, and whether they came before or after McMurray was placed on unpaid leave, they should give voters pause about McMurray's judgment.

"This is the only public visibility that Western New Yorkers have to the kind of employee he was," Caputo said. "If he's willing to say those things for all the world to see, you can imagine what kind of teammate he was at Delaware North."

Caputo is not associated with the Jacobs campaign and is not currently working with any other potential candidate in the NY-27, though he did spearhead a "Draft David Bellavia" effort last year.

The Aurora resident said, "I know 100 attorneys who are more qualified than him who would kill for the job he has. From my perspective, if he ever darkens the door of Delaware North again, it would be a shame."

We spoke with McMurray briefly today and he dismissed the accusation that he was put on unpaid leave for his tweets but said he couldn't discuss the issue in detail.

"This wasn't something that happened suddenly," McMurray said. "This happened after mounting pressure."

He wouldn't elaborate on what he meant by "pressure."

As for the content of his tweets, especially those sent since Feb. 8, McMurray said, "My duty is to talk about issues relevant to the people of the 27th District."

From a review of McMurray's tweets over the past 30 days, the first reference we can find to his employers is from Feb. 1.

His next tweet was Feb. 3.

Starting Feb. 8, McMurray sent out 16 tweets that made reference to his job or his employers, including at least one that seemed to hint at his employment situation:

One of McMurray's favorite targets during this tweetstorm is the Jacobs' family ownership of two casinos in Western New York.

In his tweets, McMurray hinted at corrupt motives of the Jacobs' family in promoting Chris Jacobs for Congress:

In one tweet, McMurray accused Jacobs of voting on a bill in the State Senate that affects the family casino businesses. We are unable to substantiate the claim.

One of Caputo's issues with McMurray's tweets is that he is using the Jacobs' family wealth as a wedge issue as part of his seemingly progressive, anti-inequality campaign theme.

"He uses income disparity with a Berniesque (referring to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders) spin," Caputo said. "That rhetoric doesn't play well in the NY-27. The vast majority of Republicans in the NY-27 find that kind of rhetoric offensive."

Reminded that this is a populist district that almost went for Jack Davis in the last special election (a special election in 2011 won by Kathy Hochul), Caputo said that may be so, but McMurray's approach to wealth inequality is not the approach that will resonate in the district.

"Looking at the income disparity message, using his employer as an example, he looks like a guy who stabs his employer in the back by using the wealth of a family that has fed him for years as a hammer in the income disparity debate," Caputo said. "The NY-27 is going to find him offensive." 

Caputo is aware that self-funded Republicans handpicked by GOP leadership hasn't worked out too well for the NY-27 in recent years. There was Chris Lee who was caught posting shirtless photos of himself on Craigslist and Chris Collins who is going to prison on insider trading charges.

The other difficulty Chris Jacobs faces in the special election is he does not seem to be the choice of Trump-supporting Republicans. Jacobs is also not Caputo's first choice but Jacobs has his support now.

"I am Republican and I support the Republican nominee," Caputo said. 

Whether Jacobs wins or loses the special election on April 28, both Stefan Mychajliw and Beth Parlato are vying for the title of most Trump-loyal future member of Congress, to the point of attacking Jacobs as a "NeverTrumper," which Caputo acknowledges could dampen GOP turnout in an election timed to coincide with the Democratic presidential primary. If the Democratic turnout is more than 50 percent -- Caputo considers that unlikely -- McMurray could be sent to Washington for at least seven months.

"The real question is how much do you want Nate McMurray as your congressman," Caputo said. "The question Republicans have to answer is, do you want Nate McMurray as your congressman for even five minutes?"

Caputo calls McMurray a socialist. A charge McMurray has repeatedly denied (in our video interview on Thursday, we pressed McMurray on the socialism issue; we'll release the video after Jacobs has participated in a proportional, in-depth interview).

If McMurray does pull out a victory on April 28, Caputo said he's confident he won't stand a chance to in the general election in November.

"It's metaphysically impossible for a Democrat to win in the district when Donald Trump is on the ballot," Caputo said.

UPDATE 9 p.m.: It's been brought to our attention that we have perhaps not explained enough about what Delaware North is. Here's the Wikipedia entry: "Delaware North is a global foodservice and hospitality company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. The company also operates in the lodging, sporting, airport, gaming and entertainment industries. The company employs over 55,000 people worldwide and has over $3.2 billion in annual revenues." Key people:  Chairman Jeremy Jacobs, and Jerry Jacobs and Louis M. Jacobs are co-CEOs, and Charlie Jacobs is CEO of Boston Holdings. Delaware North operates nine gaming facilities nationally, including Hamburg and Finger Lakes. 

Shortly after this story was published, Nate McMurray (we had asked him to substantiate his tweet quoted above) provided links to three senate bills that are related to the casino business in New York that Jacobs cast votes on. They are:

  • Senate Bill S6669: Authorizes regional off-track betting corporations to allocate up to $500,000 from their capital acquisition funds for employee salaries and benefits;
  • Senate Bill S6675: Provides that consent to simulcast at off-track betting branches, horse races run at a regional track, shall not be unreasonably withheld;
  • Assembly Bill A5059A: Authorizes the sale of cider, mead, braggot and wine at games of chance.
February 15, 2020 - 10:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news, Chris Jacobs, notify.


When Nate McMurray ran against Chris Collins in 2018 for the NY-27 congressional seat, there was no apparent problem with his employer, Buffalo-based Delaware North.

He kept his job. He kept his salary.

During his tenure as supervisor in Grand Island, he kept his job. He kept his pay.

Two weeks ago, Delaware North informed McMurray he was being placed on leave without pay. He wasn't given an explanation. 

Delaware North is owned by the family of Chris Jacobs, McMurray's opponent in the April 28 special election for the NY-27.

McMurray said he and his family are presently getting by on vacation pay and an earned bonus.

"I worked hard for the company," McMurray said. "I love many people there. But this is unquestionably difficult. I’ve expressed that to them."

Despite the loss of a regular paycheck, McMurray said he's committed to staying in the race.

McMurray made reference to his loss of wages today on Twitter and The Batavian reached out to him for clarification. He said he was limited in what he could say about the situation but confirmed that he had been put on leave without pay.

An attorney licensed to practice law in New York, McMurray is part of Delaware North's legal team.

Multiple attempts to reach the Jacobs campaign today for comment were unsuccessful. We also tried reaching out to Delaware North for comment and were unsuccessful. Messages were left in both cases.

Photo: Still from a video interview The Batavian conducted with Nate McMurray on Thursday evening at the Richmond Memorial Library. We intended to release the full nearly 50-minute interview once we've secured a similar and proportional interview with Chris Jacobs.

The Batavian is the first news outlet to report this story. We work hard to bring you quality political coverage. Support local news. Support our efforts. Click the Support button below.

February 14, 2020 - 10:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Nate McMurray.


As part of the legal process required by the state for a special election, the eight-county chairs that comprise the NY-27 met last night and officially named Nate McMurray as their candidate in the April 28 election.

The chairs are Michael Plitt, Judith Hunter, Jeanne Crane, Jerry Zeller, Brittany Wells, Francine Del Monte, John Hurley (who attended via phone), and Cynthia Appleton.

The meeting was held at the Holiday Inn in Batavia.

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UPDATE: Press release from Nate McMurray:

Nate McMurray, the Democratic candidate in NY-27, issued the following statement in response:

“I am putting my full heart into this race. We all know this election is critical because we aren’t just sending a message to New York, we are sending a message to the entire country to say that we don’t want ‘politics as usual’. We don’t need another ‘Rich Chris’ using this position to make deals for themselves and their companies. We need representation and a message that includes everyone. We need to give the people of NY-27 a voice,” said Nate McMurray.

“Nate was our person from the start,” said Michael Plitt, Chair of the Genesee County Democrats. “His platform shows that he knows exactly what our district needs. He’s going to protect social security. He’s going to improve healthcare. After years of not having someone who represented our interests, Nate is someone who finally can.”

“I can tell you that Nate McMurray has created a grassroots movement here and has demonstrated understanding and concern for the residents of Wyoming County and beyond.  But it's more than that. He has reminded all of us that Liberty is a precious thing, not to be buried but held up to the light every day of our lives and when Nate McMurray goes to Washington, we know he will do that very thing," said Cindy Appleton, County Chair of Wyoming County Democrats. 

"Last night we ratified what we have known for a very long time: Nate McMurray is our candidate. We've been united behind him for over two years because he works like no one else we've ever seen to bring true representation to NY 27,” said Judith Hunter, County Chair of Livingston County Democrats.

“Unbelievably, the Republican powers that be have decided for the third time in the last dozen years that what this district needs is a rich guy named Chris who can't possibly understand what life is like for the ordinary voters of the 27th, despite the fact that the previous two times ended very badly. Unlike his opponent, Nate McMurray gets it.”

“A tough and well-deserving candidate,” said Brittaney Wells, County Chair of Monroe County Democrats, “Nate McMurray was officially designated last night by the Monroe County Democratic Committee for the Special Election in NY-27. The MCDC has complete faith that Nate will uphold his values as a fighter for families and a defender of the United States and the communities he will represent.” 

Jay Zona, County Chair of Niagara County Democrats, said, “Niagara County was one of the first counties to get on board with Nate for this special election.  He performed very well here in the 2018 election as a new name and we are looking forward to getting his message out.”

February 12, 2020 - 5:35pm

Press release:

Congressional candidate Stefan I. Mychajliw Jr. has announced he will accept a debate challenge from Democrat Nate McMurray, if Chris Jacobs refuses McMurray’s challenge to eight proposed debates across NY-27.

Mychajliw agreed to debate McMurray in all eight counties across NY-27 if Chris Jacobs declines the Democrat’s open debate invitation.

“Someone has to stand up for Republican values," Mychajliw said. "If ‘Republican in Name Only’ Chris Jacobs won’t, I will. Since RINO Chris Jacobs has a record similar to Nate McMurray, he is clearly afraid to debate him.

"Unlike Mitt Romney donor Chris Jacobs, I never said I supported abortion rights, favored gay marriage and opposed the death penalty. While Chris Jacobs is scared to stand up for his RINO, moderate record, I have no issue debating Nate McMurray.

If this proposal is accepted by the McMurray campaign, and Jacobs refuses to debate McMurray, Mychajliw will accept the challenge to eight debates.

“Voters should hear Chris Jacobs defend his record of increasing his own pay by $50,000 and his vote to fund Planned Parenthood," Mychajliw said. "RINO Chris Jacobs’ core values are very similar to Nate McMurray’s. Do we want to send an Albany moderate to Washington that is afraid to debate Nate McMurray? How are you going to take the fight to radical progressives like Nancy Pelosi and AOC when you’re afraid to engage Nate McMurray here at home?”

February 11, 2020 - 5:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, the Democrat running to replace disgraced felon Chris Collins, today blasted the newly proposed budget and vowed to protect programs like Social Security and Medicare from Washington’s financial mismanagement. The budget would explode the federal deficit and hurt seniors, while protecting massive tax cuts for the wealthy. 

“This is a bad budget, plain and simple," McMurray said. "I’ve been in business my whole life, and if I proposed a budget this poorly thought out, I’d get fired immediately. It will steal from seniors on a fixed income, give money away to the rich, and explode the deficit that our grandchildren’s children, as it already stands, will be paying for."

“Unlike my opponent, I didn’t grow up rich and I know how these programs provide a vital lifeline for working families here. But it’s clearer now than it’s ever been -- Trump lied when he said he’d protect Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. It’s all right there in the budget.

"The harsh reality is, people will die if there are cuts to these programs. Our local hospitals will close. The people of NY-27, and the media, need to ask Chris Jacobs why he supports these cuts that will hurt our elderly and devastate our communities.”

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