Democratic congressional candidate Nathan McMurray got an endorsement Sunday from the most unusual of sources: one of the nation's largest conservative newspapers.
The New York Post made McMurray the lone Democrat in the state that it endorsed. The reason? McMurray's Republican opponent in New York's 27th Congressional District, Rep. Chris Collins of Clarence, faces federal felony insider trading charges.
"After first agreeing to drop out, Collins changed his mind and plainly means to use the seat as a chip in plea-bargaining, just as Staten Island’s Michael Grimm did" in 2014, the Post said in an editorial. "Again, voters should return the incumbent’s contempt. Republicans can try to retake the seat in 2020."
Collins earlier turned down a plea deal, however, and promises to fight the charges of fraud, conspiracy and lying to an FBI agent.
Owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., the New York Post has long been the city's leading tabloid and a rare conservative voice in the Big Apple.
The Post issued endorsements in 10 competitive New York and New Jersey congressional races, issuing strong backing for every other Republican but Collins. The paper did not offer an endorsement in the race in New York's 23rd district between Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, and Democrat Tracy Mitrano.
McMurray didn't seem all that surprised that the conservative paper endorsed him.
“Voters from all backgrounds can’t run away fast enough from Chris Collins,” McMurray said. “Every day I meet more regular folks who believe in putting country over party. They’re sick of the fighting, sick of being lied to, and embarrassed to be represented by a man out on bail."
Meantime, Collins campaign spokesman Natalie Baldasserre said: "“Just like in 2016, forgotten voters – not editorial boards, or media, or pundits – will decide who will fight for them to uphold President Trump's agenda in Congress.”
McMurray better not feel all that pumped up by the Post endorsement. The paper made clear that it was endorsing him only because of the criminal case pending against Collins.
"Not that we find him so impressive," the Post said of McMurray.