Working Families Party Backs Murphy, But Independence Line Still In Play

murphy speech 2 Working Families Party Backs Murphy, But Independence Line Still In PlayALBANY—Which candidate will win what third party line is  shaking out in the congressional race for Kirsten Gillibrand's seat, with Scott Murphy getting the Working Families Party nod this morning.

Murphy's Republican opponent, Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco, has already been endorsed by the Conservative Party. 

W.F.P. spokesman Dan Levitan confirmed the endorsement of Murphy, who is appearing this morning with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in Poughkeepsie.

Particularly in a special election, when turnout is low and the campaign cycle short, third party support can bring in a significant number of votes.

The labor-backed W.F.P. flexed its muscle most recently last fall in the successful fight to gain Democratic control of the State Senate.

Kirsten Gillibrand carried the W.F.P. line in both 2006 and 2008.

Still, the bigger prize might be the Independence Party endorsement, which has gone to the Republican candidate for this congressional seat in the past two elections, and yielded between 6,000 and 8,000 votes, according to the official results from the Board of Elections.

Tedisco, in past Assembly elections, has traditionally run on the Independence Party line.

Lee Kolesnikoff, chair of the Saratoga County Independence Party, said the executive committee of the state party will meet next Sunday to determine who the endorsement will go to. It may also decide not to endorse.

"I think it's obvious that both camps have reached out," Kolesnikoff told me by phone.