Celebrated former mayor, kingmaker, and grumpy old man Ed Koch tossed his two cents into the District 11 Congressional race late last week, and no – it wasn’t to Eastwood a chair.
While Koch backed Republican Bob Turner in last year’s special election to replace Anthony Weiner in District 9, this time he’s throwing in his lot with fellow Democrat Mark Murphy.
The reason he’s backing Murphy over incumbent Michael Grimm?
Hizzoner says the policies of Grimm, along with Congressional colleague and Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, are “hostile” to long-standing social programs that benefit the middle class.
“There is a strong feeling across the city and country that the middle class is under attack. The policies in the Ryan-Grimm budget are hostile to Medicare and Medicaid and other safety net provisions which protect the middle class and the poor,” Koch was quoted as saying in a statement put out by the Murphy campaign. “Of course the wealthy – millionaires and billionaires – are protected. We need Members of Congress who will fight for the middle class and those in need of a helping hand. Mark Murphy will fight back in Congress and be a strong voice for middle class families and others in need who are struggling.”
Koch, who says he’s “impressed” with Murphy, also pledged to campaign for him, and rally other Democrats to join them in the weeks leading up to election day.
“I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Mark in recent years. I’ve been deeply impressed with his commitment to Democratic values, his political pragmatism, and his understanding of the issues affecting middle class families today. He has the vision and intelligence that we deeply need in Congress. I plan to campaign for Mark in the days ahead and plan to get other Democratic leaders involved in his campaign.”
In the same press release, Murphy declared his “admiration” for Koch, and gratitude for the legendary power broker’s endorsement and support.
“I’m honored to receive such a strong and important endorsement from Ed Koch, a man I deeply admire and respect. I am grateful for his support and his willingness to campaign on my behalf,” Murphy said. “I look forward to delivering the honest leadership voters deserve, after years of scandals, failed policies, and bad decisions from Michael Grimm.”