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Grand Island town supervisor announces campaign against Collins

Staff Reports Posted 18 January 2018 at 4:23 pm

5 Democrats have now stepped forward for 27th District

Nate McMurray

Grand Island Town Supervisor Nate McMurray has announced a campaign for Congress, trying to unseat Chris Collins for the 27th District, which includes Orleans and seven other counties.

McMurray, 41, is the fifth Democrat to step forward to challenge Collins, the Republican incumbent.

McMurray is vice president of development at Delaware North in Buffalo. He said he would have frequent town hall meetings throughout the district. He was critical of Collins for seldom holding a town hall meeting.

McMurray was elected as a Democrat in town where Republicans are in the majority. He has been in the news for successfully pushing the state to allow cashless tolling at the Grand Island Bridges. McMurray saw the tolls as a barrier to economic progress.

McMurray announced his candidacy on Sunday at the Brickyard Brewing Company in Lewiston. He currently lives in Grand Island, which is outside the 27th District. He grew up in North Tonawanda, which is part of the 27th. McMurray doesn’t have to live in the district to run for the seat. He said he would move back to the 27th if elected.

His campaign released a statement of support from City of Tonawanda Mayor Rick Davis: “Nate will bring the perspective of the average American to his representation of the 27th District. Too often people elected to Congress are well off financially and they do not think of the many struggling households we have in our area. Nate will be the voice those families need in Congress.”

McMurray is one of seven children raised by his widowed mother in extreme poverty. McMurray said his mother laid a good ethical foundation in her home, but was stretched to the limit by the demands of putting food on the family’s table and caring for her children.

With the help of New York’s public education system and public scholarship programs, McMurray become a Fulbright Scholar, received advanced degrees including a law degree, and became fluent in Korean and Chinese. He spent time overseas and has had a successful business career. He missed Western New York so he returned home. He is married and the father of two boys.

Other candidate hopefuls include Joan Seamans, owner of a photography studio in Williamsville; former Erie County Assistant District Attorney Sean B. Bunny; Mumford businessman Nicholas Stankevich; and engineer Thomas P. Casey of Erie County.

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