Former mayor Ed Koch, who shocked the political establishment last year with his endorsement of Republican Bob Turner in the race for the congressional seat once held by Democrat Anthony Weiner, is staying on his own side of the aisle in the contest over the Bay Ridge-Staten Island seat.
Koch has endorsed Democrat Mark Murphy over Republican incumbent Michael Grimm in the race in the 11th Congressional District.
“I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Mark in recent years. I’ve been deeply impressed with his commitment to Democratic values, his political pragmatism, and his understanding of the issues affecting middle class families today,” Koch said in his endorsement announcement on Sept. 20. “He has the vision and intelligence that we deeply need in congress. I plan to campaign for Mark in the days ahead and plan to get other Democratic leaders involved in his campaign,” the former mayor said.
Koch charged that Grimm, who voted for the budget bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), the vice presidential candidate, advocates policies that would hurt the middle class. Grimm is running for his second term in office.
“There is a strong feeling across the city and country that the middle class is under attack. The policies in the Ryan-Grimm budget are hostile to Medicare and Medicaid and other safety net provisions which protect the middle class and the poor. Of course the wealthy – millionaires and billionaires – are protected,” Koch said. “We need members of congress who will fight for the middle class and those in need of a helping hand. Mark Murphy will fight back in congress and be a strong voice for middle class families and others in need who are struggling.”
Murphy said he was grateful to have Koch’s support. “I’m honored to receive such a strong and important endorsement from Ed Koch, a man I deeply admire and respect. I am grateful for his support and his willingness to campaign on my behalf,” he said.