Former Republican state lawmaker Dean Murray said Tuesday that he wants a rematch against Democratic freshman Assemb. Edward Hennessey, who won a major upset two years ago for the 3rd District seat.
Murray, 49, of East Patchogue, formally announced his candidacy in a midday interview on Long Island News Radio with John Gomez and scheduled a $100-a-head fundraiser later at the Mediterranean Manor in Patchogue.
“I like my chances,” said Murray, claiming that Hennessey has been “sitting silently” and not representing the people in the district. He said Hennessey has failed to speak out on issues. He also questioned whether Hennessey has really moved into the district, as he has said, and predicted it would be a “huge issue” in the race.
Hennessey said later he would not respond to Murray’s attacks, but maintained that he has brought home more in school aid every year and has introduced legislation to bar accounting rules that would hurt school districts financially. “The work I’ve done to date speaks for itself and the voters will decide,” he said.
Hennessey, who did not live in the district when he first ran, as permitted in a reapportionment year, earlier said he has moved into a house in Shirley. He family lives in East Moriches, where his son remains in a local school.
First elected in a 2010 special election as a tea party champion, Murray lost re-election in 2012 to Hennessey, a former GOP town board member for a decade, even though he spent little on the race.
Murray is now describes himself as a “conservative Republican,” but said he remains true to the values -- fiscal responsibility and accountability -- that gave rise to the tea party.