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Gillibrand Stars in New Murphy Ad

One day after a new independent poll showed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) with sky-high approval ratings in the House district that she used to represent, the Democratic nominee in the special election to replace her began airing a TV ad with Gillibrand in a starring role.

Gillibrand faces the camera during the entire 30-second ad, which went on the air Friday, and explains why she’s supporting venture capitalist Scott Murphy (D) in the March 31 contest.

“This is one of the most difficult recessions in our country’s history. It’s why I’m asking you to elect Scott Murphy to fill my seat in the House,— Gillibrand says over folksy guitar music. “Scott’s the only candidate with proven business experience. He helped create a thousand jobs and he’ll never back down in protecting upstate New York.—

Murphy is locked in a tight race with state Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R). In a district that has 70,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats, Tedisco, who was far better known than Murphy at the outset of the campaign, began the contest as the nominal frontrunner. But a Siena College poll released Thursday showed Murphy within 4 points, despite the fact that Tedisco led the same poll by a dozen points two weeks earlier. The same poll showed Gillibrand with a 78 percent favorable rating.

In an interview with the Post-Star newspaper in Glens Falls published Friday, Tedisco seemed to blame his dropping poll numbers on negative ads run by the National Republican Congressional Committee. He said the ads prevented voters from getting to know “the real Jim Tedisco— and vowed that his spots would be positive for the rest of the campaign.

“I’m taking over, and we’re going to run a campaign that relates to the people of the 20th Congressional district,— Tedisco told the newspaper.

Under campaign election law, however, there is supposed to be no coordination between the Tedisco camp and the NRCC, so Tedisco’s indirect criticism may have no effect on the NRCC strategy.

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