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Congressional Debate

In this file photo, former U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy speaks during a debate on Tuesday, October 19, 2010. (T.J. Hooker - thooker@poststar.com)

By MAURY THOMPSON

Former U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy, D-Glens Falls, announced Tuesday he will not run for the 21st Congressional District seat that will be open because U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, is not seeking re-election.

“After serious consideration, Jen and I decided that now is not the right time for me to run,” Murphy said in a statement. “I think that the best thing I can do to serve the country is to spur economic growth and innovation through my work in the private sector.”

Murphy, a venture capitalist who now splits his time between Glens Falls and Manhattan, was elected in a 2009 special election to represent the Glens Falls area in Congress.

He lost a 2010 re-election bid to Republican Chris Gibson of Kinderhook, who now represents a new district farther south in the Hudson Valley.

The Glens Falls area was moved into the 21st District under redistricting which took effect in 2013.

Also on Tuesday, Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas, a Democrat, announced he has decided not to run for Congress.

The two separate announcements come the day Democratic leaders set as a deadline for candidates to submit resumes for consideration in the Democratic endorsement process.

Democratic leaders have said they expect to make an endorsement by mid-February.

No Democrats declared their candidacy, as of Tuesday.

But three Democrats have publicly said they are considering the race: Jon Cardinal, an economic development adviser to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; State Assemblywoman Addie Russell, D-Theresa; and John Sullivan, a lawyer, political columnist and former state assistant attorney general from Saratoga Springs.

A coalition of political, labor and Green Party activists on Tuesday announced they are seeking an “economic populist” candidate that would seek the Democratic and Working Families Party nominations and possibly the Green Party and Independence Party nominations in the congressional race.

“We welcome anybody who wants to see a candidate who is going to talk about income inequality,” said Joe Seeman, a MoveOn.org organization who is one of the coalition spokesmen.

The coalition’s candidate likely would need to be a Democrat, in order to enter a Democratic primary, as candidates not enrolled in a political party need permission from party leaders to run on the line.

Seeman said the coalition wants a candidate who would be along the mindset of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with Democrats.

Republican leaders in the 21st District on Tuesday announced they have postponed an endorsement vote, originally scheduled for Wednesday, until Friday, because the expected inclement weather.

There are four declared candidates seeking the Republican nomination.

The candidates are: Joseph Gilbert, a retired U.S. Army major and tea party leader from St. Lawrence County; Michael Ring, a broadcast engineer and political activist from Jefferson County; Elise Stefanik, a businesswoman and former White House policy adviser from Willsboro; and Jamie Waller, a political consultant from Hamilton County.

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