Also: Assembly candidate Gallahan gets Independence Party endorsement
Voters in the eight counties of the 27th Congressional District can so far expect debates between two of three candidates in the race — the Democrat and the Libertarian. As of Thursday, the Republican had ignored repeated calls to participate.
Democratic candidate Nate McMurray earlier this month challenged Republican rival Chris Jacobs to a series of debates leading up to the April 28 special election. While Jacobs has ignored McMurray, Libertarian candidate Duane Whitmer is in.
“I will really spice up this debate that would otherwise feature two corporate lawyers affiliated with Delaware North who are political centrists,” stated 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.”
McMurray is vice president of business development with Delaware North, a giant food and hospitality services company owned by Chris Jacobs’ uncle, Jeremy Jacobs. Delaware North forced McMurray to take an unpaid leave of absence from the company until after the April 28 special election, apparently for political reasons: McMurray said it is not due to his job performance.
Chris Jacobs is a state senator whose 60th district covers parts of Buffalo and Erie County. McMurray, who lives in Erie County, is a former Grand Island town supervisor. Whitmer is a tax adviser from Erie County.
This week, candidate Jacobs touted his endorsement from President Donald Trump. “I am honored to receive his endorsement and am excited to help him advance his agenda in Washington,” Jacobs tweeted.
In response, McMurray tweeted: “Let me explain, You have a family with lots of power. They get tax breaks. Casino licenses. Every cut of every beer sold at Sabre’s/Bills game. Now they want a Congressman who supports Trump. And you don’t want me to talk about it? Uh ... NO THANKS.”
Independence endorsement for Gallahan
In other news, in the race for the 131st Assembly District, candidate Jeff Gallahan received the endorsement of the New York State Independence Party. Gallahan, a Republican, is Manchester town supervisor and owns a small business in Shortsville, CR7 Catering & Food Trailer, with his wife, Lynn. Gallahan has worked for the last 30 years in industrial and cutting tool sales and is a longtime community volunteer.
“Now more than ever, we need strong independent leaders in Albany who will fight for the values we as taxpayers share. Jeff has the experience and drive to make a difference,” stated Frank MacKay, chairman of the state Independence Party.
“I want to put my experience to work for the taxpayers and make Albany listen. We have a lot of work to do between now and November, but together we will get the job done for the people of Seneca and Ontario Counties,” stated Gallahan.
A Republican primary is shaping up for the race to fill the seat long held by Assemblyman Brian Kolb, R-Victor, who is not seeking reelection. Jeff Shipley, the president and CEO of the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce, has also announced his candidacy for the district seat, which represents Ontario County and part of Seneca County.