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Dean Murray, Tea Party Activist, Joins New York State Legislature

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Dean Murray has become the first Tea Party member to hold office.

The Long Island businessman, who won a lengthy recount in a special election, was sworn into his New York State Senate seat on Monday.

Murray was one of the original organizers of last year's Tax Day Tea Party protest.

Despite identifying himself as a Tea Party member, Murray chose to run on the Republican ticket. Speaking to Greta Van Susteren, the newly elected state senator said:

I am very happy to be in the Republican Party. I'll tell you why, because it seems like while the Democratic Party is working so hard to tear down what the Tea Party movement is about and discredit them, it seems the Republican Party is embracing the Tea Party movement.

In his speech at his swearing-in ceremony, Murray thanked several audience members who were part of the Conservative Society for Action and the Suffolk County 9/12 Project.

Murray beat Democrat Lauren Thoden by about 160 votes to take control of a the 3rd Assembly District, a district that had been represented by a Democrat for the past 13 years.

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