Glens Falls venture capitalist Scott Murphy is the Democrats’ choice to take on Republican James Tedisco for the 20th Congressional District seat.
Democratic committee chairmen from 10 counties on Sunday chose Murphy from the narrowed-down list of four hopefuls at a meeting at the Gateway Diner in Colonie.
Murphy said by telephone Sunday that he was excited to be the Democrat nominee and to focus on his message of job growth.
“I’ve been working for the last 16 years in New York as an entrepreneur and investor, working with small businesses to create jobs. I think that’s something incredibly important. It’s a unique skill-set in this race,” he said.
Murphy and Tedisco are looking to fill the seat vacated by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who was confirmed last week. Gillibrand replaced Hillary Rodham Clinton, who resigned to become secretary of state under President Obama. Gov. David Paterson has yet to call for a special election to fill the seat. Once he does, the election must occur between 30 and 45 days.
Murphy, 38, has worked for Advantage Capital Partners for the last eight years. In the early 1990s, he worked on Wall Street for Bankers Trust for two years. He then created an online sports game called Small World Sports and sold it to The Sporting News. He also founded Small World Software — now renamed iXL — and took it public while managing a staff of 280 people, according to his Website.
Murphy said his business experience would be an asset in Congress. “We need somebody in Congress who understands how government policy impacts job growth.”
He planned to get into more specific details about his plans in the coming weeks. Murphy also did not want to disclose his campaign’s finances at this early stage.
Murphy is a graduate of Harvard University. He worked for two Democratic governors in Missouri — Mel Carnahan and Roger Wilson. He served as deputy chief of staff under Wilson.
Murphy is also president of Upstate Venture Association of New York and serves on the board of directors of the Glens Falls Civic Center. He and his wife, Jennifer Hogan, have three children.
Murphy beat out for the nomination bankruptcy lawyer and Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim, attorney Carol Schrager and state Assemblyman Tim Gordon.
Former television news anchor Tracy Egan and Suzy Ballantyne, director of governmental affairs for New York AFL-CIO, withdrew their names from consideration on Sunday. At one point, as many as 30 people had expressed interest in the seat.
Murphy praised the committee chairmen’s process to select the nominee as thorough and inclusive.
The Democrats were under pressure to name their candidate after the Republicans last Tuesday selected Tedisco of Glenville, who is in his 14th term in the Assembly and has been minority leader since 2005.
Murphy preferred not to comment on his opponent. Some political experts have given Tedisco the edge because of his name recognition and the fact that enrolled Republicans outnumber Democrats in the district.
Murphy acknowledged that he is not as well-known now. He plans to tour the district, so that is not an issue, he said.
“It sure won’t be by the time of the election.”
The district includes all or part of Saratoga, Dutchess, Warren, Washington, Rensselaer, Columbia, Greene, Delaware, Essex and Otsego counties.