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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy declines to financially back McConnell opponent

For now, governor’s aid to Amy McGrath stops at criticism of Republican leader

By Nikita Biryukov, September 08 2020 2:39 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy declined to commit to financially backing a Democratic challenger to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after weeks of attacks launched at the Republican leader over his opposition to Democratic calls for additional federal stimulus to states.

“No comment on contribution to campaigns, including Amy McGrath even though I think she’s a great candidate. She’s a rockstar,” Murphy said.

McGrath, a former pilot who was the first woman to fly a combat mission for the U.S. Marine Corps, is attempting to oust McConnell with a resume not dissimilar to that of Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair).

Over the past several months, Murphy has dialed up his criticism of McConnell, targeting the Republican leader over his opposition to direct federal aid to states and additional stimulus and unemployment payments for Americans.

Murphy, a former executive at Goldman Sachs, was previously finance chairman for the Democratic national committee. He’s given some money to Democratic candidates this year — $5,600 each to Amy Kennedy and former Vice President Joe Biden — though the contributions amount to less than he’s donated in previous cycles.

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