Scott Murphy won’t run for Owens' seat

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Scott Murphy. (AP Photo/Tim Roske)
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ALBANY—Scott Murphy, a venture capitalist and former upstate congressman, has decided against a bid to succeed retiring Rep. Bill Owens, he confirmed to Capital.

The Democrat, who would have been capable of self-financing a bid, began telling longtime allies and associates that he was waving off a potential run on Monday. Murphy maintains a house in Glens Falls, and represented part of the 12-county 21st District in 2009 and 2010. (Congressional boundaries were re-drawn in 2012.)

He won a 2009 special election, and stood out among the Democratic field of Owens successors because of his personal resources: In 2009, Murphy gave his campaign $250,000.

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

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Owens, a Plattsburgh Democrat, announced on Jan. 14 that he would not seek a third full term in the seat, setting off a flurry among both Democrats and Republicans interested in replacing him. Republican county leaders have been vetting candidates, and will convene Wednesday to settle on a designee. Elise Stefanik, a 29-year-old former White House aide, has emerged as the favorite Republican candidate, but Watertown-area investor Matt Doheny, who challenged Owens twice, may launch a primary bid. (Doheny has called Republican leaders in the district, but has been publicly mum about his intentions.

Democrats have issued an open call for resumes and letters of intent from prospective candidates, and will announce their designee some time later this month. Candidates must gather the valid signatures of 1,250 enrolled partisans to earn a spot on the June primary ballot, a process that can begin March 4.

Other than Murphy, Democrats in the district have mentioned Darrel Aubertine, a former state senator and agriculture commissioner, as a possible candidate. Dede Scozzafava, an enrolled Republican who challenged Owens in the 2009 election before dropping out and endorsing him in its final days, is also in the mix. She currently works for Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.