Murphy’s Political Status Going Down to the Wire

Scott Murphy still doesn’t know if he’s going to stay working as a VC or join the politico ranks.

Murphy, a managing director at Advantage Capital Partners, was hoping voters in his upstate New York district would elect him as a representative to the state congress in a special election held yesterday.

But the race is too close too call. As of this afternoon, Murphy, a Democrat and former software engineer, had about a 50-vote lead over his rival, James Tedisco, a veteran Republican assemblyman.

There were still about 10,000 absentee ballots, and the recount process will probably take another two weeks, ideally speaking, of course.

This has been a closely watched election by us at peHUB central, because we are fascinated by how many investors are joining politics. Ego or altruism? You decide.

But this special election is also being closely pored over because it’s the first under President Barack Obama’s administration, and its being regarded as a possible indicator of voter reaction to his economic-recovery efforts.

Tedisco and Murphy are vying to replace Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed to take Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat in January. The 20th Congressional District, which includes suburbs in Albany, has 70,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats, and former president George W. Bush carried the district twice, but Obama won it last year.

My colleague Joana Glasner, who talked to Murphy last month, points out that maybe Tedisco’s campaign strategy is paying dividends.

Tedisco, who has been trying to portray Murphy as the poster boy for the greed and corruption on Wall Street, recently told an interviewer that “unscrupulous capital venturists and bankers” [like Murphy] were responsible for the economic downturn.

Murphy says the statement demonstrates just how little his opponent understands business and the venture industry.

Stay tuned as the recount progresses.