October 31st, 2009
04:28 PM ET
5 years ago

Republican Dede Scozzafava drops out of NY-23 race

Dede Scozzafava was under intense pressure from conservatives for being too 'liberal'.
Dede Scozzafava was under intense pressure from conservatives for being too 'liberal'.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican Dede Scozzafava dropped out of New York's 23rd District special election Saturday, citing a slip in the polls as a factor contributing to her decision.

"In recent days, polls have indicated that my chances of winning this election are not as strong as we would like them to be," Scozzafava said in a statement released by her campaign.

"The reality that I've come to accept is that in today's political arena, you must be able to back up your message with money, and as I've been outspent on both sides, I've been unable to effectively address many of the charges that have been made about my record."

Scozzafava won the nomination in a vote taken by the 11 GOP county chairman in the district, rather than through a traditional primary election. The local Republican leaders picked the state assemblywoman, because they felt her moderate views would appeal to centrist Republicans, independents, and even some Democrats.

Scozzafava, whose name will remain on the November 3 ballot, said "victory is unlikely."

"I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit to do so," she said.

Later: Scozzafava endorses Owens

The seat opened up earlier this year after nine-term Republican Rep. John McHugh stepped down after being confirmed as Secretary of the Army. The largely rural district spans 11 counties in northern New York.

Republicans have represented this area of the state since 1872.  McHugh never won less than 60 percent of the vote in his nine election victories, but Barack Obama did edge out John McCain in the district in last year's presidential election.

Scozzafava won the nomination in a vote taken by the 11 GOP county chairman in the district, rather than through a traditional primary election. The local Republican leaders picked the state assemblywoman, who was also backed by the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Republican National Committee because they felt her moderate views would appeal to centrist Republicans, independents, and even some Democrats.

The move sparked a revolt among many conservatives, who were angry with what they call her liberal views on same-sex marriage and abortion.

Hoffman's campaign was quick to respond Saturday, claiming he represents a change from normal Washington politics.

"This morning's events prove what we have said for the last week; this campaign is a horse race between me and Nancy Pelosi's handpicked candidate, Bill Owens," Hoffman said in a statement.

"It's time for us to send a message to Washington - we're sick and tired of big-spending, high-taxing, career politicians and by voting for me on Tuesday you will send that message loud and clear," he said.


Filed under: NY-23 • Popular Posts
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. Lisa

    Well, if the ultra Conservative pinhead wins, I guess we'll know that corporations run the country. And fix elections

    October 31, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  2. Keith in Austin

    To ThinkAgain:

    Stop trashing Conservative Values and the GOP. You are obviously on welfare and eating government cheese! Maybe if YOU were punished by higher taxes and government intervention in your life for working hard and building some wealth in life, you wouldn't spew your rancor so much! Obviously, you probably don't have a clue in what I'm referring to but Barry will take care of you! Keep on believing!

    October 31, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  3. Dan

    The Republicans are well on their way to turning themselves into the permanent minority party for the next 20 years. As a moderate Republican myself, I am appalled by the way that the embittered, loud-mouthed, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals on the extreme right are taking over the party. If I resided within this particular congressional district, I'd vote for the Democrat candidate on Tuesday just to send a "message" of my own. Governing coalitions are built in the political center, not at the extremes.

    It never fails to make me gag when I hear the likes of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh blissfully extolling the virtues of Ronald Reagan when, measured by their own uncompromising standards of what constitutes a "true conservative", he would have been just as much a "RINO" as the rest of us.

    October 31, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
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