I met Scott Murphy this evening. Very impressive. I didn’t get more than a few minutes with him but he struck me as a genuinely nice guy and he did a very good job of presenting himself both in one on one’s and in his speech.
My county party had an event for him this evening at a local Elks Club. Very good turn-out. Mostly all committee people but just a few years ago committee events were small affairs and now they are teeming with enthusiastic and active people. Freshman Congressman Paul Tonko from the neighboring 21st was also there to introduce Scott. Let me quickly say that while I worked for a competing candidate in the 21st I have absolutely no problems with having Paul Tonko as the Representative there. He is definitely one of the good guys.
So Murphy presented well. He’s good looking, speaks well, and quickly overcomes the fact that he is originally from Missouri. He talks about growing up in a small city similar to those in upstate New York and about his wife’s family and stories about their multi-generational dairy farm here in the district. He is the son of a postal worker and a grade school teacher and he tells a good story about growing up the middle class American dream with well employed parents with health insurance and no fears about losing jobs, house, health coverage, etc. He emphasizes the point by telling a story about suffering a collapsed lung as a kid and there being no fears about being able to pay for it or losing the house when the bill came due. Likewise he segues well into talking about being given the opportunity for college and making the decision to settle here by his wife’s family but watching how kids are leaving upstate New York in droves because the opportunities are just not here for them.
I am also watching a campaign that is quickly defining the opposition and boxing him in. Jim Tedisco (R-Sweeney-ville) is making missteps and looking not ready for prime time. Murphy is looking all business and ready to go. Despite the demographics and the short campaign season (2 weeks in, 5 ½ weeks to go) I think we have a very good opportunity to keep this seat and deal the Republicans a very disheartening blow. I’ve been hesitant to talk up this campaign until I had a chance to meet the guy and get a feel for him but I came away from this evening feeling very enthused, very up-beat and like we are going to win this.
Earlier today Scott held a "green jobs" event in Hoosick Falls (Hoo-where?) pop roughly 3,500. It is one of the "big cities" in the district. We generally do not get Albany media to attend events there because it is 45 minutes away. Today’s event saw AP, NYT, and the Washington Post all in attendance. Meanwhile little Jimmy Disco can’t figure out whether to say he is in favor of the stimulus bill or against it. He talks for 5 minutes and hopes you haven’t noticed that he hasn’t said anything. Scott Murphy made it clear he plans on continuing to hound him on whether he has a position or not. The economy is kind of, like, um, you know, sort of, a BIG DEAL right now.
I would like to ask folks to get involved in this race. Contact people you know in the district. Volunteer time, money, phone calls, etc. The Republicans from RNC Chair Michael "You can't trust what we say or do" Steele on through the wingnutosphere are talking up this race as their biggest thing since the letter W! I’d like to ask you all to help us crush their big hopes into a tiny little cigarette butt in the gutter.
Scott Murphy is making the economy the centerpiece of his campaign, as is entirely appropriate. He says "I’m running to revitalize the economy and to create and save jobs. That has been the center piece of my entire career and that is what I want to bring to Washington."
He is strongly in favor of EFCA, a Woman’s right to choose, universal healthcare, getting out of Iraq, against the financial bail-out and in favor of the stimulus which he says is not perfect but gives us what we need right now.
So... while I still don’t know him well yet my impression is that we have a good one on our hands here and I feel comfortable asking everyone to get behind him and make a push to crush the Republicans tiny little hearts right here in river city... er... um... Hoosick Falls... and NY-20.
If you missed his intro TV ad... here it is: