Washington (CNN) - The list of House members retiring at the end of the year rather than running for re-election keeps growing.
Democratic Rep. Bill Owens of New York State announced Tuesday that he won't seek another term, leaving another competitive seat open for the midterms.
(CNN) – Facing an uphill battle for re-election, Democrat Bill Owens is bragging about his allegiances to the other side of the aisle.
In a new ad out Tuesday, the Democrat who won a special House seat in a conservative upstate New York District last year, declares he voted with "the Republican leader 63 percent of the time." FULL POST
(CNN) - Republican Doug Hoffman, who split the conservative vote in last year's special election for New York's 23rd congressional district handing the seat to a Democrat, has dropped out of this November's general election for the same seat.
After losing the GOP primary last month to Matt Doheny, Hoffman decided to run as a Conservative, but on Tuesday he cleared the way for his fellow Republican.
"It was never my intention to split the Republican vote," Hoffman said in a statement. "Matt Doheny and I may have differed on some issues during the course of our primary race. Now, we must put those differences aside and do what is best for our nation."
(CNN) – Democrat Bill Owens may have won last night's special election in New York's 23rd congressional district - but Sarah Palin said Wednesday that race "is not over."
Writing on Facebook early Wednesday morning, the former Alaska governor praised Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman and "all the other under-dog candidates who have the courage to put themselves out there and run against the odds."
"The race for New York's 23rd District is not over, just postponed until 2010," Palin wrote. "The issues of this election have always centered on the economy – on the need for fiscal restraint, smaller government, and policies that encourage jobs. In 2010, these issues will be even more crucial to the electorate."
Owens – the first Democrat to win this district since the 19th century – is up for re-election in 2010.
Palin, along with prominent conservatives Tim Pawlenty, Fred Thompson and Dick Armey, backed Hoffman last month over then-Republican nominee, Dede Scozzafava, who dropped out the weekend before Election Day. The race garnered national attention over the Republican Party split between the Scozzafava and the more conservative Hoffman.
(CNN) – The three-way race in New York's 23rd congressional district ended Tuesday night with a surprise Democratic win - the first for the party in the reliably-Republican district since the 19th century.
Democrat Bill Owens defeated Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman to claim victory in a race where an internal GOP fight drew national attention - and forced the party's candidate, Dede Scozzafava, out of the campaign.
National Democrats, smarting over gubernatorial losses in New Jersey and Virginia, seized on the win, with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine dubbing it "perhaps the most consequential race of the night."
"This race turned out to be the worst of all possible worlds for Republicans as not only did the Democrat, Bill Owens, win a seat that Democrats have not held in more than 100 years, but what occurred in New York has exposed a war within the Republican Party that will not soon end," said Kaine.
"It played itself out in Pennsylvania earlier this year when longtime Republican Senator Arlen Specter became a Democrat and is playing itself out in House, Senate and Gubernatorial races nationwide. The all out war between Republicans and the far right wing is a disaster for the Republican Party and will dog it well after today," Kaine added.
Earlier this fall, Hoffman was a clear underdog, but as the campaign to replace Rep. John McHugh drew to a close he was considered a solid favorite. He benefitted from decisions made by national Republicans after Scozzafava left the race and also was able to take advantage of decisions made by the national GOP long before it backed his candidacy.
Weeks before endorsing Hoffman's bid, the party ended its attacks on Hoffman and focused its fire solely on Bill Owens - an unusual move when the biggest threat to the Republican candidate, then holding a narrow advantage, was coming from the right.
In the race's final days, Hoffman had the momentum. A Siena survey conducted Sunday and released Monday suggested he'd gained 6 points since Scozzafava's withdrawal, and held a 5-point edge over Owens heading into Election Day.
But there were underlying signs that Hoffman couldn't count on a win, even in the heavily Republican district.
(CNN) - The Conservative Party candidate in the special election for New York's 23rd congressional district has a 5-point edge over the Democrat in the race, according to a new poll.
But the Siena Research Institute survey, conducted the day after the Republican in the race suspended her campaign, suggests that roughly one out of five voters in the district remain undecided just hours before Election Day.
The race has captured national attention because of a split among Republicans, which could allow a Democrat to win the district for the first time in over a century.
The poll indicates that 41 percent of likely voters support Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman, with 36 percent backing Democrat Bill Owens, and 6 percent supporting Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava, who suspended her campaign on Saturday. Scozzafava's name remains on the ballot.
Eighteen percent of likely voters are undecided, double the amount from a Siena survey released Saturday, hours before Scozzafava dropped out of the race. Owens was at 36 percent in that poll, with Hoffman at 35 percent and Scozzafava grabbing one in five voters.
(CNN) – The Republican Party nominee in this week’s special congressional election in New York endorsed her Democratic opponent Sunday, one day after releasing supporters from their commitment to support her.
New York Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava said she was backing Democrat Bill Owens over Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the special election for ex-GOP Rep. John McHugh’s seat in this northern New York congressional district. McHugh resigned to become Secretary of the Army.
“Since announcing the suspension of my campaign, I have thought long and hard about what is best for the people of this District, and how to answer your questions,” she said in a statement obtained by CNN. “This is not a decision that I have made lightly.”
“In Bill Owens, I see a sense of duty and integrity that will guide him beyond political partisanship. He will be an independent voice devoted to doing what is right for New York. Bill understands this district and its people, and when he represents us in Congress he will put our interests first.”
“I am supporting Bill Owens for Congress and urge you to do the same.”
(CNN) – The Republican Party nominee in this week’s special congressional election in New York endorsed her Democratic opponent Sunday, one day after releasing supporters from their commitment to support her, the Watertown Daily Times reported on its Web site.
“Since announcing the suspension of my campaign, I have thought long and hard about what is best for the people of this District, and how to answer your questions,” she said in the statement posted on the Web site. “This is not a decision that I have made lightly.”
CNN has contacted Scozzafava, but has not yet heard back.
(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden is heading back to New York's 23rd congressional district to campaign for Democrat Bill Owens the day before Tuesday's special election.
With the Republican Party split between party-backed Dede Scozzafava and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, recent surveys suggests Owens is in the lead – giving Democrats a rare shot at a pickup in this solidly-Republican upstate district.
Owens, who is running to replace Rep. John McHugh, who resigned earlier this year to serve as Obama's Secretary of the Army.
Biden, who also campaigned with Owens in September, will appear in Watertown. Earlier this month, President Obama made an appearance at a fundraiser for Owens in New York City.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
(CNN) - Nearly $1.8 million worth of ad spending has flooded the airwaves in New York's 23rd congressional district in the runup to next week's special election to fill that seat.
Democrat Bill Owens, the SEIU, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have spent more than $822,000 so far, with the majority of that money coming from Owens, according to an analysis by TNSMI-CMAG, CNN's consultant on political advertising. Embattled Republican Dede Scozzafava's campaign, the state party and the National Republican Congressional Committee have laid out $536,072 in support of her bid - but just under $67,000 has come from the state assemblywoman's cash-poor campaign.
And roughly $429,000 worth of ads have aired on Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman's behalf, with the majority of those funds coming from the fiscally conservative Club for Growth.
When the Club for Growth's $287,000 in TV ads aimed at swaying conservative-leaning voters on Hoffman's behalf first hit the airwaves a few weeks ago, Scozzafava enjoyed a slim but statistically significant edge in this Republican-leaning district: A Siena survey released earlier this month, before the Club for Growth and Hoffman ads hit the airwaves, found she held a 7-point edge over Owens, 35-28 percent. Hoffman registered 16 percent – despite the fact that roughly 7 in 10 of those polled didn't know who he was. The seat's previous occupant, former GOP Rep. John McHugh – who left office to serve as President Obama's Secretary of the Army – won re-election in 2008 by nearly 2-to-1 over his Democratic challenger.