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Democrat Scott Murphy will not run for Owens seat; Aubertine still unsure

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Democrat M. Scott Murphy, D-Glens Falls, a venture capitalist and former congressman, said Tuesday that he will not run for New York’s 21st Congressional District seat.

“After serious consideration, Jen and I decided that now is not the right time for me to run,” Mr. Murphy said in an email. “I’m going to keep working hard and remain passionate about building businesses and creating good jobs in the private sector.”

The district is represented by William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, who announced Jan. 14 that he would not seek re-election, surprising both Democrats and Republicans.

Mr. Murphy, who is a managing director and chief investment officer at Advantage Capital Partners, New York City, narrowly won a special election in 2009 to fill the vacancy left by Rep. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., when she was appointed to the Senate by Gov. David A. Paterson.

The following year, he was roundly defeated by retired Army Col. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook.

Mr. Owens also was elected in a special election in 2009.

The National Republican Congressional Committee reportedly has been conducting a poll in the district to discover voters’ recognition of Mr. Murphy’s name as well as the name of former state Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, who was the favored candidate in 2009 before he announced that he would not seek the Democratic nomination.

On Tuesday, Mr. Aubertine said he has still not reached a decision about running for the seat.

“I certainly think that Scott — he has been in Congress — had he chosen to run he would have done a stellar job again,” Mr. Aubertine said. “It’s not something I’m putting into any decision on whether to move forward or not.”

Mr. Aubertine said he was taking his time in deciding how to proceed.

“It’s a huge decision ... all the ramifications of a decision like this ... there’s a lot to consider,” Mr. Aubertine said.

Elise M. Stefanik, Willsboro, the Republican frontrunner in the race, said she is not spending much time worrying about who her competition may turn out to be.

“I continue to focus on earning the support of the voters for my campaign to bring new ideas and new leadership to the 21st District,” Ms. Stefanik, a former White House staffer, said in an email. “I am not focused on the continued speculation as to who may or may not run. There are too many important issues like growing small businesses, fighting for our constitutional liberties, protecting our farms and putting an end to the Washington dysfunction that deserve attention.”

Tuesday was the deadline for Democratic candidates interested in running for the seat to submit their letters of intent and resumes to party representatives in the district.

The 21st Congressional District includes Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Hamilton, Herkimer, Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Fulton, Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties.

The 12 county chairpersons from the Republican Party will meet Friday in Elizabethtown to endorse a candidate.

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