The day after last week's election, Nate McMurray's congressional campaign rolled out its first major endorsement: the Niagara County Democratic Committee chairman.
"Our whole goal was to be supportive of those elections until it was over and now we're into the time where we need to focus on this race," McMurray said.
Since the election the campaign has methodically announced the support of now six of the eight county chairs in New York's 27th District. The candidate believes the resignation and conviction of incumbent Republican Chris Collins galvanized Democrats.
"Some of the endorsements came out right after we heard the news about the guilty plea," he said. "We have a huge volunteer base. We have a huge mailing list. We have been engaged for the last year because we knew this was coming so some of the county chairs wanted to immediately get involved and endorse me."
The endorsements are important because these county chairs are responsible for designating a candidate when the governor calls a special election to fill the vacant seat. McMurray is the only announced Democrat so far, but the endorsements could discourage others from challenging him.
"We have so much support," he said. "We have support in every corner of Western New York and that support doesn't come easy. That support comes from literally years of visiting these towns."
The vote, however, is weighted, and McMurray has not yet secured (or at least announced) the support of Erie County, which carries the most weight.
"That's the one that will come last and we have a lot of support across Erie County," he said. "We performed excellently in Hamburg last year and other parts of the county. We won where no Democrat has won before across the region."
McMurray admitted it would be to his benefit if the election takes place on April 28 at the same time as the Democratic presidential primary but said he wants the seat filled as soon as possible.