October 31st, 2009
04:28 PM ET
9 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. Gerald L. Leighton

    Good to see the Sarah Palin factor playing out in New York. She quit her job in Alaska and now New Yorkers are letting her tell them who to vote for. Maybe New Yorkers aren't so tuff or smart.

    October 31, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  2. cm

    I feel that these bloody waters in this race and the way it was ran will only bring out more and more sharks..

    October 31, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  3. wagon

    Say goodbye to three elected seats, socialist-crats.

    October 31, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  4. M Paul

    SHE WAS NOT BAPTIZED BY THE the lords of republicans; Archbishop Rush Limbaugh, Bishop Sean Hannity and Rev. Dr. Glenn Beck.
    So called Christians in republican party found the lord in Rush Limbaugh and he his their lord and master.
    Chantilly, Virginia

    October 31, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  5. M Paul

    How can YOU bring democracy in the rest of the world when there is no difference between YOU and TALIBAN. Republicans will have no problem living side by side with Talibans because they behave the same way.

    October 31, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  6. Canaman

    The Republican Party is doing itself a great disservice by making itself a pure "conservative" party. The party's umbrella was once big and wide and there were even liberal Republicans, for example, Teddy Roosevelt. Even when Reagan was president, there were liberals and Reagan often said that if you agreed with someone 60% of the time, you are both friends. The state of affairs with Republicans is turning pathetic and if the "pure conservative" run continues, the party might never win a national election again, but remain a minority for years to come.

    October 31, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  7. unshrub

    This is what they are doing to this country, they what it their way and the hell with anyone else. There is no compromise, it's their way or no way. The big question is: Are the voters going to fall for this type of politics?

    October 31, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  8. Bill

    We have a liberal president and congress, hell bent on giving away yours and my liberty and freedom, right under our noses....and liberals call conservatives bad.... Open your eyes, open your ears (somewhere besides CNN and the rest of the liberal media) before the constitution is abolished and your your freedom has been destroyed.

    Liberals are like puppets...they have someone else tell them what to say and believe..Think for yourself's. I can spot a lier very easily and we have one on Pennsylvania Ave,!!

    October 31, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  9. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    She was for Card Check so the Union Bosses can strong arm you into joining them without a secret ballot. After the Unions killed industry in Ohio, where I origionally am from, and other midwestern states with their mafia style tactics and corruption I do not want to join a Union and will never support one unless they are changed back to what they were origionally created for instead of the political corruption and money hungry lawyers they are now. Also she is too the left of conservative democrats which makes her not a centrist.

    October 31, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  10. Marc Gendron

    How can anyone in their right mind vote for Hoffman a Conservative Republican? Lets go forward ...not backwards...with Owens.

    It's ok to spend out of control when Bush was Pres. for a war in Iraq and deny the public option to millions of uninsured Americans AND let our country's info-structure (Champlain Bridge in NY state is closed) collapse! Now all of a sudden Pelosi,Reid,Obama are to blame?

    Wake up people, we have to rebuild our country first then help the rest of the world. Vote Demoratic, vote for Owens! I am.

    October 31, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Shelton in VA October 31st, 2009 5:17 pm ET

    ""It is very sad that moderates no longer have a voice in the part of NO! The GOP keeps digging their grave deeper one election after another. I'm sure the Democratic party will welcome your views, Ms. Scozzafava."

    The Democrats already have a candidate in that race. Don't the people in that district deserve options? I heard someone say on the news that that is a conservative region. In all fairness, they deserve a representative that reflects their views..."

    There were 3 candidates, now there are 2: Hoffman who is a Conservative and Owens who is a Democrat.

    October 31, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  12. cjl

    I like it. Personally I don't know anything about her, but I really do think the right prescription right now is hard right to balance out the extreme far left we have running (and destroying) the country.

    October 31, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  13. Sam B.

    As a life-long resident of the 23rd district, I thank Dede for offering herself to the voters. I have voted for her myself in other elections and I'm a registered Dem. While I have not agreed with all of her views, she worked hard for her Assembly District. Hoffman scares me to death because he is a zealot that has no regard for the average Joe in this district. His admission that he opposes the construction of Interstate 98 and the expansion of Fort Drum and other earmarks for the poorest district in the Northeast is the wrong approach for our region. With only 2 days left before the election I will be on the phone, walking the streets and doing whatever I can to help Bill Owens win. Thanks ultraright for getting me off the couch to defeat your candidate!

    October 31, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  14. JasonK

    The reason she lost was because she did not support the rights of women to be raped and not have justice in a court.
    GOP stands for geth to the already born
    Corporations right to rape American workers
    Womens right to be raped
    Taxcut for the filthy rich
    trickle down prosperity as we are seeing right now
    exporting of American jobs
    sanford morality, foley appreciation, palin intelligence and cunningham honesty
    Rights of banks to plunder
    The only tax payer right the GOP supports is the right to taxpayer to pay the filthy rich the money they lost in gambling.
    Bombing innocents around the world to pacify egos
    The GOP never paid for the war or the rebuilding
    Hope they pay in the elections

    October 31, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Bren October 31st, 2009 12:49 pm ET

    "This is GREAT news!!

    This could mean 3 Republican wins on Tuesday!!!!"

    Scozzafava wass the Republican candidate. Read the title of the article again.

    October 31, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  16. Jim

    Its amazing how people bring up Sarah Palin, either positively or negatively, in response to articles that have nothing to do with her.

    October 31, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  17. Michael


    To further follow up on your point, the Republican Party used to be a ideologically-diverse party. Now, less than a quarter of the party's senators are moderates. George W. Bush (more conservative than his father George H.W. Bush) won thin election victories (one of them controversially handed to him), because he kicked his party further towards the right. When John McCain ran against him in 2000, he was more moderate than he is now. Had McCain won the nomination against Bush, he probably would have been president. Instead, the Bush people slandered him viciously before the South Carolina primary, and eventually lost the nomination.

    October 31, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  18. Michael from Mahopac, NY

    Wake up, folks! If this can happen in NY State, Palin can run on a conservative line in the Bible and mountain states to the right of the republican nominee in 2012, and WIN! If Owens wins on Tuesday, it is the template for a run for Sarah!

    October 31, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  19. Jim

    Ralph October 31st, 2009 4:51 pm ET

    "Since when is someone a "fundamentalist", "bigot" or "nutjob" for standing for values most Americans approve? Here's a newsflash. Most Americans are Pro-Life. Most Americans to include President Obama disapprove of gay marriage. Most Americans don't care for higher taxes and more spending by a federal government that is out of control. Here's more information for those on the "Left" who are uninformed. The plurality of Americans (42%) consider themselves Conservative while only 21% identify themselves as liberal/progressive. The U.S. is a center-right country. We don't want the politically correct version of socialism that the Euro-trash embrace. Most Americans believe in God, guns, and country. It is about time we have elected officials who share those same values. Nancy Pelosi and her crowd represent a tiny minority. Why should they be allowed to cram their views down our throats? It is time for a Revolution in this country as we aside those who don't represent the views of real Americans. The Revolution begins with one step and the election of Hoffman in New York."

    So why did Republican lose control of just about everything in the last election?

    Nice speech anyway. Who's talking points are you repeating?

    October 31, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  20. Republi-ban

    Meet Republi-ban...a sister organization of Taliban. They will not allow any law to pass.. Good or bad. Filibuster is what they believe in.

    Dede is what I call sacrificial goat.

    October 31, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  21. Joe

    I cannot believe how stupid some of the comments are on here. Wake up people. Do you think one party would be a good idea? We need multiple parties to tear down the establishment of this corrupt two party system that is destroying this country. WAKE UP ! USE YOUR BRAINS IF YOU HAVE ANY.

    October 31, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  22. Jack Harrison

    I applaud the fact that a conservative won.
    To me, this IS NOT about religion, gay rights, or abortion.
    This is about the loss of freedom and liberty (you might recall, we went thru this once before, a couple hundred years ago).
    The government just took over ~ 30% of the private sector what with the banks, life insurance, and automotive industries. It now wants energy and healthcare.
    Capitalism is "economic democracy". We, the people, decide what goods and services are worth via our "dollar votes".
    How many examples do we need to show that a loss of economic freedom is accompanied with a loss of individual liberty.
    I just hope this isn't "too little, too late".

    October 31, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  23. Sarah Palin pulled this off.....

    she was the first one to endorse Hoffman....and now a Conservative will move into Congress and begin the process of overturning the work of the Pelosi/Reid mob.....we should have it all overturned after the 201o midterm elections.....

    Obama is ONE and DONE.

    October 31, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  24. realUSA

    libtard love peoples again the law like corruptions and illegal aslong get more voting fraud

    October 31, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    They are being led by the anti-christ Sarah Palin. She rules the ignorant masses that adore her. She is about to print her own money. But she will be smyth down

    October 31, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10