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Congressional candidates exchange barbs as they christen campaign offices

The Democratic and Republican candidates for the vacant 20th U.S. Congressional District seat officially ramped up their campaigns this week as they both opened local campaign offices. Democratic dark-horse Scott Murphy and Republican State Assembly power-broker Jim Tedisco (R,C-Saratoga) both took the opportunity to attempt to define not only themselves, but also each other in front of sympathetic audiences.

The U.S. Congressional seat for New York's 20 District was vacated last month when Gov. David Paterson appointed then-Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to Hillary Clinton's vacated U.S. Senate seat due to her appointment to the post of Secretary of State in the Obama Administration.

"I have the experience we need," Murphy said to the standing-room only, hometown crowd at his campaign office in downtown Glens Falls Feb. 12. "Unlike career politicians, I have spent my life creating jobs."

Murphy is co-owner of Advantage Capital, a local investment firm which he claims is responsible for the creation of over 1,200 jobs over the last five years.

"Every job lost represents not only a statistic, it is someone's life," Murphy said as he repeatedly hammered home his economy-focused message. "I am here to fight for change for everyone, not for those at the top who need it the least."

Repeatedly Murphy blasted Tedisco, saying that he is on the wrong side of issues ranging from health care to taxes. However, Murphy declined to discuss the specifics of any given issue, instead claiming that his business experience and Harvard education make him the better candidate.

"I chose to make building businesses my business," Murphy said. "I will fight for quality, affordable health insurance and focus on job creation through technological innovation, clean energy initiatives and infrastructural investment."

Monday, Tedisco used the opening of his Queensbury campaign office to fire back, highlighting his years of experience in the State Assembly. In an aggressive tone, he outlined the political nuances of a host of issues including property tax relief, the Obama stimulus package, mandate relief and his support of pay limits for CEOs of companies that received bailout funds.

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