VC Ekes Out Win in Congressional Race

Speaking of VCs interested in political office: Scott Murphy, a managing director at venture fund network Advantage Capital, has just won a hotly contested Congressional election in upstate New York.

In a recount, Murphy beat the Republican candidate, state Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, by a hair, reports the New York Times. As of 4 p.m. EST, Murphy had 80,420 votes to Tedisco’s 80, 021 and his lead was widening.

The rural upstate seat is in a traditionally Republican-leaning district, one that stretches from the Adirondack Mountains to the mid-Hudson Valley. The Times reports that Republican chairman Michael Steele had vowed to make the race the start of a comeback for his party.

The seat that Murphy takes first opened up when former Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand became New York’s junior Senator in January.

Murphy, a Missouri native, moved to the district just three years ago and spent an as-yet undisclosed amount of his own capital to land the coveted opening.

Advantage Capital has been around since 1992, and raises small funds to invest in underserved states and communities, including in Missouri, Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi. It also has offices in New York, California, and Washington, D.C.

As of earlier this year, Murphy was sitting on several boards for Advantage, including New York-based GridApp Systems, which sells database infrastructure management services, and SOMS Technologies, also in New York, which makes a next-generation oil filter. As of Friday night, he remained listed at Advantage’s Web site.

Before becoming an investor, Murphy founded Small World Sports, a fantasy sports company that sold to Vulcan Ventures. He also founded a small Web consultancy that was later absorbed into the now-defunct consultancy Scient.