Democratic Party | Kirsten Gillibrand | New York | News | Scott Murphy | Tim Kaine

Democrat Scott Murphy Holds 65 Vote Lead in NY Congressional Race

Just 65 votes separate the candidates in upstate New York in the race to fill Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's seat:

Murphy "With all precincts reporting, the Democrat, Scott Murphy, a 39-year-old venture capitalist, led 77,344 to 77,279 over his Republican rival, Assemblyman James N. Tedisco, 58, for the seat vacated by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, a Democrat. The turnout was surprisingly strong for a special election. But 10,055 absentee ballots were issued — and 5,907 received so far, state election officials said — meaning the election cannot be decided until the paper ballots are counted. Moreover, it is likely that the count may not begin until at least April 6, said Bob Brehm, a spokesman for the State Board of Elections."

The race is being seen as a referendum on Obama's stimulus package as Murphy, who is from Missouri and was an unknown before February, aligned himself closely with Obama.

DNC Chair Tim Kaine released a statement last night: “Scott Murphy embraced President Obama's message of change and his plans to fix our economy and create jobs, and as a result  he stormed from more than 20 points down to winning a majority of votes cast tonight.  Scott's performance tonight in an overwhelmingly Republican district, where Republicans enjoy a registration advantage over Democrats of more than 70,000, represents a repudiation of the failed politics and policies that Republicans continue to embrace.  We are confident that when all the ballots are counted, Scott will expand his lead and become an ally to President Obama in Congress who will help the President create jobs and turn our economy around."

Tedisco has already gone to court.

ON LGBT issues, Murphy supports civil unions over same-sex marriage, the Weekly Standard reports. Also: "While a student at Harvard, Murphy co-signed an editorial in 1989 that argued that ROTC shouldn’t be allowed on campus because the military was racist, sexist, anti-gay, and the 'values enforced by the military — submission to authority, unquestioning obedience, and a hierarchy of power — are contrary to the University's values of independence, thoughtful inquiry, and equality for all.' Yesterday, Murphy said of his 1989 editorial: 'That was, I said that at the time, and I have changed my opinion, in part because the military’s moved its position” on gays in the military toward Clinton’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.' That said, he most recently answered that 'no', he doesn't have a position on gays in the military.

Murphy's campaign ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

Upstate New York House Race Is Too Close to Call [nyt]
(image nyt)

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  1. I don't think he's a shoo-in based on the razor-thin lead and all the absentees left to count, but the fact that Murphy did as well as he did—regardless of the final outcome—already proves the country's continuing distaste for Republicans. Even Republicans (the district is superred!) can hardly stand Republicans.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Apr 1, 2009 7:02:53 AM

  2. So yet again our choices are to vote Republican or vote for a Democrat who believes that a Separate 2nd class marriage status is somehow considered Equal (not to mention a politician who will easily backtrack and cower when confronted on U.S. military discrimination against gay Americans).

    Posted by: Wayne | Apr 1, 2009 7:48:12 AM

  3. as long as it's not a republican, Amen to that. Republicans are getting more and more homophobic it's shocking. I don't know what we ever did to them to deserve such hate from them. I wish this guy supported gay marriage but then again if he says that loud he can loose the seat. oh well.

    Posted by: doro | Apr 1, 2009 7:51:56 AM

  4. If neither Republican or Democrat support our equality what does it matter in the end? I think it's time that we wake up to the fact that the Democrats are just paying us lip service to get our votes, once in office, they backtrack and cower away from any fight involving LGBT issues. I am outraged by Republican bigotry, but at least they are honest about it. I am disgusted by Democrats who promise to stand up for equality only to betray our trust once the reach office.

    It's time that the gay community shows the Dems that there is a price to pay for political betrayal. Stop blindly giving them our money and support until we see some actual CHANGE!

    Posted by: Wayne | Apr 1, 2009 8:17:02 AM

  5. Democrats just rely on thinking gays won't vote Republican no matter what. So they consider gays already "in the bag".

    Posted by: JT | Apr 1, 2009 9:59:49 AM

  6. There is a HUGE difference between a 65-POINT lead (which you say Scott Murphy holds in the headline) versus a 65-VOTE lead (which you say he holds in your article body). For instance, Obama beat McCain by about 9 million votes but only about 7 points. Please clarify which you mean in this piece.

    Posted by: Thomasina | Apr 1, 2009 10:09:08 AM

  7. "Democrats just rely on thinking gays won't vote Republican no matter what. So they consider gays already 'in the bag'."

    Welcome to the club. But eventually, we blacks (the ones with sense) knew it was a convenient marriage: Democratic Party/Black Americans.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 1, 2009 10:24:17 AM

  8. I'm with Thomasina on this one: a 65-POINT lead would mean that Murphy got 75 per cent of all the votes cast and Tedisco got just 10, not that only 65 VOTES separate the two.

    Posted by: craigbear | Apr 1, 2009 10:33:59 AM

  9. As a resident of this district, I'm just glad the election is over because the commercials, robo-calls and daily flux of crap (mostly from Tedisco) in my snail-mail box was driving me nuts.

    Posted by: popomatic Jeff | Apr 1, 2009 11:00:15 AM

  10. Don't worry. I don't take too much from the gay marriage/ROTC thing. If Scott Murphy won the race and was named Senator tomorrow, his first phone call would be to the Empire State Pride Agenda to "clarify" that he supports gay marriage and opposes anti-gay military policies. This is just what Democrats feel safe doing in Republican districts.

    Posted by: Juliana | Apr 1, 2009 11:13:12 AM

  11. Thomasina and craigbear- I don't know if you're both feeding off of each other's frustration or if neither of you read the title or the copy or the article, but since you commented several hours after Andy originally posted you can see that the headline clearly says Murphy is ahead by 65 VOTES and overcame a 20 POINT DEFICIT during the campaign. Why would the campaign be open if Murphy led by 65 points? Aravosis is calling for Murphy to bow out because Tedisco has gone to court? Asking for someone who has a lead to withdraw because it would make life for everyone else easier and settle the issue? Does he think the leader in all future elections with a close count should withdraw? What a load of crock.

    Posted by: K | Apr 1, 2009 12:15:11 PM

  12. K, Andy changed the headline from "points" to "votes" *after* Thomasina and I posted.

    Posted by: craigbear | Apr 1, 2009 2:14:00 PM

  13. Derrick from Philly : Eventually, I think, nobody likes to be taken for granted.

    Posted by: JT | Apr 1, 2009 4:19:55 PM

  14. JT,

    you give me a Voting Rights Act, a Civil Rights Act, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, a great man like Sargent Shriver, attempts at correcting 300 years of oppression through Great Society Programs, attempts at affirmative action, school integration to achieve fairness in education, maybe 95% of black elected officials in this country, a national convention that includes people that look like me, and BARACK OBAMA; I'll give you my vote, and 50 years of loyalty.

    Plus Babs Streisand told to do it.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 1, 2009 4:43:03 PM

  15. Derrick : Understood. But (at the risk of ticking off Barbra), Winston Churchill said there is no loyalty in politics. And maybe there shouldn't be, after a while. (Makes them complacent).

    Posted by: JT | Apr 1, 2009 4:55:14 PM

  16. JT,

    I understand where you and many other gay/Lesbian folk are coming from also: full marriage rights are non-negotiable.

    It took a while for Lyndon Johnson to see full voting rights for black people as non-negotiable, and many in his own party stood against him. Eventually, those bigots left the Democratic Party, and civil rights became synonymous with Democratic Party policies. Same thing will happen for gay marriage rights. It will take time.

    Gays have been a recognizable minority for how long? Many Americans still don't even understand the concept of "sexual orientation". More education is needed.

    Democrats give you a voice within their party; Republicans give you their flat pale asses to kiss.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 1, 2009 5:12:02 PM

  17. I hate to say it, but I fear that Obama will just end up dumping us after having used us. I'm so fucking sick of it....Why bother to be involved at all?

    Posted by: John | Apr 1, 2009 8:05:52 PM

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