Meet the First Tea Party Activist to Be Elected Into Office

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This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 18, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: The Tea Party movement is on a roll and it got started last April. Now a Tea Party activist is an elected official in New York State. Dean Murray just won a special election for a state assembly seat in Long Island. He says he's the first Tea Party activist elected to government. Dean joins us in New York City. Good evening, Dean, and congratulations.

DEAN MURRAY, R - NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLYMAN-ELECT: Hi Greta, thank you for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you run as a member of the Tea Party or did you run as a Republican or Democrat?

MURRAY: I'm a proud member of the Brook Haven and Suffolk County Republican Party, and also I was on the conservative line, as well. But I was one of the original -- one of the organizers of one of many original tea parties on tax day in 2009.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you a happy member of the Republican Party or are you branching off into the Tea Party -- I don't know it is not really a movement yet, but whatever it is.

MURRAY: I think it is a movement. Yes, 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.

And the important thing with that is the Tea Party movement is based on what the core Republican values are based on. The Tea Party movement is based on smaller government, about fiscal responsibility, and most importantly, and I think this is the key word for this entire year, "accountability."

VAN SUSTEREN: So what is the difference for you between being a part of the Tea Party movement and being a Republican? Why don't you just run as a straight Republican and why are you organized as part of the Tea Party movement and go to the events?

MURRAY: That's a great question. I think it's because the frustration of the Tea Party patriots, a lot of them are, deep down, again, I have to say they believe in the same core values at the Republican Party.

But the frustration was the party seemed to be drifting away and getting away. And I think the people around the country and what we are seeing now with the Tea Party patriots is they want to get back to the basics to their core values, again, of the smaller government, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, and of course accountability to the voters.

VAN SUSTEREN: Rewind to last April 15th. Were you part of one of the tea parties? Did you attend one?

MURRAY: No, I actually organized one on Long Island. There were a handful in Long Island, and I was the one that organized the Medford tea party in New York in Suffolk County, and was thrilled that we had several hundred people out there.

The mood was, they were angry. They wanted to be heard. They don't feel like the elected officials -- they feel as though there's a disconnect between the elected officials and the taxpayers. They want to be heard. And they want accountability. And they are demanding accountability.

VAN SUSTEREN: What was your occupation before you got involved in politics?

MURRAY: I'm a small business owner. I own an advertising agency that publishes several actually free publications.

VAN SUSTEREN: Had you ever gone to a protest or a demonstration of any sort prior to the one you organized last April 15th in New York?

MURRAY: I can't say that I have. I have been involved with the Republican Party in several races and helped and volunteered. But I think it was the Tea Party movement that really spurred me on because it just, again, got back to the basics and the frustration. It was a way to let the elected officials know that you are going to be held accountable.

And the best part is, Election Day is when the accountability is -- comes to roost.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think there will be a separate tea party like the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, or do you think the Tea Party will be a subdivision of the Republican Party?

MURRAY: I don't think it is going to be. It is interesting that people say, do they back Republicans? Do they back Democrats? We have a couple of local organizations, the Conservative Society for Action and the Suffolk 912 project on Long Island. They don't look at party first. They look at the candidate and what they stand for.

But as I said before, it just appears the Republican Party and candidates are embarrassing the values where the Democrats are trying to fight the Tea Party and discredit them.

VAN SUSTEREN: Dean, thank you for joining us, and good luck, sir.

MURRAY: Thank you very much.

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