Murphy Builds Momentum With 365-Vote Lead in N.Y.

Posted April 23, 2009 at 10:27am

Things are going from bad to worse for Republican Jim Tedisco in the still-unresolved special election in New York’s 20th district.

Even Republicans acknowledge that Tedisco doesn’t appear to have enough votes left to overcome the 365-vote margin that Democrat Scott Murphy had amassed as of Wednesday afternoon.

Officials from both campaigns are in Albany on Thursday to review ballots that were objected to based on questions of intent, and further proceedings are scheduled before a judge on Monday.

Meanwhile, Tedisco’s cause wasn’t helped Wednesday by a report in the Albany Times Union that revealed the former state Assembly Minority Leader authorized a top staffer to pay personal legal bills from a party account.

Recently installed state House Minority Leader Brian Kolb, who succeeded Tedisco, confirmed to the paper that Tedisco authorized his chief of staff, William Sherman, to cut a $32,536 check from the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee account to pay for expenses incurred in a defamation lawsuit. The private agreement was unknown to Kolb and the rest of the GOP Conference until members received a set of anonymous documents that were also mailed to the Times Union.

Kolb defended the payment as a legitimate expense to defend a key party employee on an issue of free speech, though Kolb noted he would not have done the same thing.