Nate McMurray says declaring defeat in NY-27 race would be “irresponsible”

Western New York

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — Nate McMurray is not giving up.

During a conference held at his campaign headquarters in Hamburg Friday morning, the Democratic candidate for NY-27 called Sen. Chris Jacobs’ declaration of victory “premature.”

Jacobs, the Republican who’s running against McMurray in the race to fill the spot vacated by former Congressman Chris Collins, declared victory after the in-person votes leaned in his favor in Tuesday’s election.

Jacobs, who currently serves as the State Senator for New York’s 60th District, also received the most in-person votes in Tuesday’s Republican primary, beating Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw and former Darien Town Justice Beth Parlato.

The issue McMurray has with Jacobs’ declaration is that absentee ballots have not yet been counted, and because of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of people decided to vote through the mail. There will not be an official winner until all of these ballots are counted, as well.

There are at least 73,416 absentee ballots uncounted. Of those, 41,065 come from Erie County voters. Those won’t be opened until July 7th.

Jacobs’ lead in the race is 31,427 votes. In addition to the Republican declaring victory, the Associated Press has called the race in his favor.

After calling Jacobs’ declaration “irresponsible,” McMurray said it would be “equally irresponsible” for him to declare defeat in the race for NY-27.

In response to McMurray’s comments, Christian Chase, a spokesperson for Jacobs’ campaign, said, “Our declaration of victory was not in haste. We were and remain confident that the commanding lead Chris Jacobs amassed will be insurmountable to overcome.

“Every vote will be counted and the outcome will not change, which is a view we share with the Associated Press and every major news outlet has called this race for Chris Jacobs.”

Looking at the fact that the absentee ballots remain uncounted, McMurray said he promises “the gap will significantly shorten” as he believes the majority of absentee votes came from Democratic voters.

After addressing the topic of absentee ballots, McMurray shared his views on the words and actions of President Donald Trump.

“We know the week leading up to the election, Mr. Trump and his family were heavily involved in this election,” McMurray said.

The former Grand Island Town Supervisor stated there were multiple town halls and robocalls that he says perpetuated lies about him.

“I will remain anti-Trump,” McMurray said. “I think President Trump is a threat to America…I believe that threat will be defeated in November.”

McMurray’s final point in Friday’s conference was telling listeners to not let Jacobs “pretend” to be a moderate, saying Jacobs stood with the President on his decisions during the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you tie yourself with Trump, you sink with Trump,” McMurray said.

McMurray ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination for this November’s regular election, meaning he will be on the ballot again whether or not he wins June’s special election.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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