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McMurray not conceding special election, focuses on November and Trump

Michael Mroziak/WBFO News
Nate McMurray speaks at his campaign headquarters Friday morning in Hamburg.

After calling it too soon to concede or claim victory in the 27th Congressional District special election, Democratic candidate Nate McMurray spoke Friday of focusing on November, when he'll have a rematch against Republican Chris Jacobs and, as McMurray sees it, the Trump agenda itself.

More than 80,000 votes were cast on Primary Election Night in Erie County, where parts of the county represent a small portion of the broader 27th District. Jacobs gained nearly 69 percent of the votes in the special election to fill the vacant congressional seat. He declared victory, suggesting that the math showed him to have a secure lead, even before absentee ballots were counted. Jacobs also soared to a big win in the Republican Primary, defeating Beth Parlato and Stefan Mychajliw to earn his place on the November ballot for the same seat.

McMurray, appearing in his Hamburg campaign headquarters Friday, stated that for the tens of thousands of ballots that were cast on Tuesday,

"More than 50% of the votes have not been counted," he said. "At least thousands of votes came in yesterday to Erie County. Thousands of votes. So it is not just premature, you would be irresponsible to declare victory, as Mr. Jacobs has done. It would be equally irresponsible for me to claim defeat or to submit, which I will not do until the votes are counted."

Jacobs was personally endorsed by President Donald Trump in the special election campaign, and the Trump family contributed to the candidate's cause through robocalls and townhalls. McMurray said Trump and his family used their resources to, on behalf of Jacobs, spread lies about his record.

"President Trump had a townhall, the eve of the election, where he said that I raised New Yorkers' taxes, where he said that I lobbied for foreign trade deals that hurt our country, a lie that's been repeated for years by the Republican Party, and by those involved in politics," McMurray said. "He lied about my position on open borders. He said I believe in open borders and I'm an open borders advocate."

McMurray also stated that Republicans recycled a lie dating back to the 2018 race against then-incumbent Chris Collins, that lie being that he worked to send jobs overseas. He also wished he would get more support from the Democratic Party establishment.

"And by the way, that's another lie that President Trump said. He said, I'm a handpicked puppet of Nancy Pelosi," he said. "Well, clearly I'm not. Because if I was, where is she?"

On his podium was a sign that read, "America or Trump." McMurray declared openly his continuing campaign is very much anti-Trump. Predicting Trump will be defeatedin November, the candidate suggested Jacobs is now tied to the president for the duration.

"Do not let him somehow pretend he's suddenly a moderate. He is not a moderate," Mcurray said. "He stood with President Trump at the height of a pandemic. He stood with President Trump as President Trump openly advocated for the Confederate flag. He is not a moderate. He praised President Trump on Election Day saying thank you for this victory. If you tie yourself to Trump, you sink with Trump."

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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