Every vote counts (...and they are still counting in NY-20)
April 1, 2009
From Northeast Regional Field Organizer Anthony Hayes: With HRC-endorsed candidate Scott Murphy up by 65 votes, absentee ballot voters will decide who fills this vacant congressional seat in NY's closely watched special election. In 2008, New York was so proud when fair-minded Senator Hillary Clinton was selected to be Secretary of State, and when fair-minded Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand (D) was selected to fill Clinton's vacant Senate seat. That's when New York was introduced to Scott Murphy (D), who took on the challenge of running in yesterday’s special election to replace Gillibrand. This race is being watched very closely because Murphy's challenger, New York Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R), was expected to do well in this traditionally Republican District. Murphy ran a very strong campaign, however, and HRC was there working to turn out our members in what is now a very close race. At the start of this campaign, Scott Murphy trailed Tedisco by over 11 points. Murphy's team worked quickly to close that gap by creating an intense field program which informed voters about the need to keep the District in the hands of fair-minded representation. I spent a great deal of time here on the ground working to ensure that HRC members around the state knew that the LGBT and allied community needed to get back out on the campaign trail to support this fair-minded candidate. HRC members once again took to the streets, knocked on doors, and made countless phone calls to turn out the progressive vote. Our members volunteered tirelessly across the District to help not only close the 11 point gap that Murphy faced, but to give Murphy a 4 point lead by Election Day. On Election Day, HRC members spent hours knocking on doors, making phone calls, and getting voters to the polls. Many voters laughed when they saw volunteers knocking on their door for a third time asking them to vote for Murphy. One person said, "I voted for him and I am glad I did because if he is working this hard for my vote, I know he will work just as hard in Washington." At 9 PM, when the polls closed, volunteers crammed into a campaign office in Red Hook to have a "lap top war" to see who could find results the fastest. As each county reported their election results, everyone started realizing how close this election was going to be. When the last county reported, Murphy was ahead by 65 votes! 65! There are 5,900 absentee ballots out and the deadline to have them turned in is April 13th. So for the moment, Murphy is ahead but the race won't be over until all returned absentee ballots have been counted.
What an amazing accomplishment by the campaign and the swarm of volunteers who helped out on this campaign! This is truly a lesson in the importance of exercising your right to vote and an even larger statement to the power of our membership who took action to help fair-minded candidate Scott Murphy. While the election is still not over, we have to celebrate our effort and the unbelievable shift this campaign took from being behind in the polls by more than 11 points to ending election night 65 votes ahead of Tedisco. We'll keep you updated on the final results of the election.
March 20, 2013
Issues: Federal Advocacy
May 24, 2013