On June 2, 2020, the former Republican candidate Scherie Murray posted the following message on her twitter page “Where everything President Trump does is used to further the politics of division”.  There are many residents in Congressional District 14 (between Queens and the Bronx) who are unaware of the name Scherie Murray.  Ms. Murray is the former congressional republican candidate for CD 14.  Ms. Murray had been campaigning for the congressional seat since mid-2019.  She submitted less than 100 valid signatures on her petitions, was challenged in the boards of elections (and subsequently declined ballot entry), lost in Queens Supreme Court (to reinstate her signatures), and lost her appeal in federal court (all in the month of May).

If only the story ended there, the question most readers are asking themselves by now are “who is Scherie Murray? And why haven’t I heard about her in the past?  Ms. Murray is a Jamaican born immigrant, who currently (and has always) resided in Jamaica, Queens.   In 2015, she ran for State Assembly and received 7.2% of the votes in her district (District 29, Jamaica Queens).  In 2009 and 2013 she ran for City Council (in City Council District 31 – Jamaica Queens), receiving 5.1% of the votes in each year.  She was removed from her district leader position on or around August 2017 for failure to submit the required signatures during the petitioning process (the Queens GOP page currently list the 29th Assembly District Leader position vacant).  She maintains her residency in Jamaica Queens, including participating in the Jamaica School District.  Both her Assembly and City Council Campaigns ran on the motto “Time for New Leadership Now”.  Yet, when pressed about fiscal issues on October 17, 2013 Ms. Murray stated, “I’m not an insider on the budget”.

Ms. Murray’s biography in her campaign website states “In 2004, Scherie, a young entrepreneur, founded The Esemel Group Inc. (TEG); a Television Production and Advertising Company with a mission to create jobs in the New York City Tri-State area for minorities in media.”  However, further review of New York State Division of Corporations has no records indicating such business exist or is registered (either for profit or not-for profit).  In 2009, the New York City Finance Board Voter Guide listed her occupation as Grassroots Community Activist, under the Esemel Group.  Further investigation did not identify the business entity as either a Minority Owned Business, or in receipt of New York (State and City) grants.  In addition, there were no members of the Queens County Committee Representatives available to confirm such a business entity.  New York State Campaign Financial Disclosures were unavailable for viewing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a freedom of information law (FOIL) request was not submitted for retrieval of Ms. Murray Financial Disclosure.

She became a Republican in 2009 and used the nomination of President Barack Obama as her inspiration in politics.  Ms. Murray once said she was “not really looking at party politics as a younger person” (as reported on 2013 by Queens Chronicle).  On June 26, 2018, Ms. Murray formally congratulated Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez via twitter for defeating Rep. Joe Crowley.  Once again stating “its time for new leadership”.  So how does a Jamaican born immigrant, from Jamaica Queens, who voted for President Obama, Cheered the nomination of AOC, and formally believed in voting the person against the party, become a Trump Loving Republican Candidate.

A closer look at her campaign finance reveals true intent.  On July 2013, New York State Campaign Finance disclosure filings indicated Murray received $596 in total contributions from June 2013 to July 2013 for her “Murray 2013” City Council run.  On July 2009, New York State Campaign Finance disclosure filings indicated Murray received $680 in total contribution from March 2009 to June 2009 for her 2009/2010 “Murray for City Council” campaign.  Murray’s 2015 assembly campaign account “Scherie S. Murray” was terminated on April 3, 2018 and did not report any contributions.  However, a subsequent account remains opened and filed a January Periodic 2020 report reporting “No Activity” for Murray’s Assembly candidacy in the 29th Assembly District (Jamaica Queens).  In prior years, the “Friends of Scherie Murray” account had reported total contributions of $4,110.  When you look at Murray’s FEC (Federal Election Commission) filings at FEC.gov, Ms. Murray now reports $749,454.46 total contributions as of June 3, 2020.  A closer look at the contributions would disclose out of state (out of district) donations from known Trump States/Donors.  Donor’s from states like Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Kansas have all donated to Ms. Murray’s campaign in Queen County.

Following the cash donations can only infer the Republican party’s intent is to desperately infiltrate a strong democratic urban district by promoting Ms. Murray’s Candidacy (a candidate who has never resided in CD14, or even held a campaign office in district).  Proving once again republicans prefer to govern from the outside looking in (without engaging the community or address the communities need).

Eric Cordova