(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) - It's take two for Doug Hoffman.
The certified public accountant from Lake Placid, New York announced that he's making a second bid for Congress. His first run, as a Conservative Party candidate in a three way race, helped spark a bitter divide within the GOP and was one reason Democrat Bill Owens won a district his party hadn't controlled in over a century.
"I now want to take this opportunity to let you know that I will be formally entering the race for the 23rd Congressional District seat and this time we will defeat Bill Owens," Hoffman said on his campaign Web site Monday night.
And this time, Hoffman is seeking unity on the right.
"I plan to work hard to deserve the nomination of the Republican, Conservative and Independence Parties and unite them, as one team, to defeat the agenda of Nancy Pelosi and Bill Owens," said Hoffman.
New York's 23rd Congressional District was the scene of a bitter intra-party GOP fight last year. The House seat in the northern part of state opened up after nine-term moderate Republican John McHugh stepped down to become Secretary of the Army.
(CNN) - The battle for NY-23 is over. The battle for NY-23 has just begun.
After conceding the congressional race to Democrat Bill Owens for the second time in the district’s special congressional election, Doug Hoffman has announced the launch of his 2010 campaign for the seat.
“So where to now? Full speed ahead to 2010,” the 2009 Conservative Party nominee told supporters in a message posted on his campaign’s Web site. “Although I’m conceding an election today, I do it with the certainty that we will win back this seat a year from now.”
His team’s 2009 campaign experience “will make us stronger and more competitive in the future,” said Hoffman. “Next time we will be better prepared.”
Hoffman – whose insurgent campaign helped drive Republican Dede Scozzafava from the race – had rescinded his concession last week amid new vote counts that showed a narrowing vote gap between himself and Owens, and allegations that software problems in some voting machines and other vote counting issues could have affected the outcome of the race.
(CNN) - The divisive special congressional race in New York, during which an intra-party Republican battle appeared to result in a Democratic victory, may not be over after all.
Doug Hoffman - the Conservative Party candidate in the 23rd congressional district's special election - "un-conceded" on the Glenn Beck radio show Monday night, as a standard review of election returns showed Democrat Bill Owen's lead over Hoffman had narrowed from 5,800 votes to just over 3,000 votes.
But a spokesman for Hoffman downplayed the conservative's "un-concession" Tuesday. "All that really matters is the actual count which is ongoing," said
In the interview with Beck, Hoffman acknowledged he would have to win more than 65 percent of the uncounted absentees to make up the difference - a hurdle that is unlikely to be cleared given most of those ballots were cast before the Republican in the race, Dede Scozzafava, withdrew.
The review of roughly 7,400 remaining absentee ballots is slated to begin Tuesday.
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(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) - Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman told CNN on Monday that battle over the congressional seat in New York's 23rd district that led to the withdrawal of the Republican candidate isn't evidence of a split within the GOP.
Hoffman called Dede Scozzafava, the Republican nominee who dropped out of the race over the weekend, an "ultra-liberal" - but denied the GOP is at war with itself, or that the race offer a glimpse what's to come in next fall's midterm elections.
There is room for moderates in the GOP, said Hoffman. "I think this was a unique situation where the candidate happened to be more Democrat than Republican," he told CNN's Mary Snow and Shirley Zilberstein. "And basically, I was fighting to stand up for the values and ideals of the Republican Party."
Before Scozzafava dropped out, Republicans were split between her and Hoffman, allowing Democrat Bill Owens to take the lead in this reliably-Republican district. Scozzafava is now backing Owens - a decision that Hoffman said "surprised" him, but shows that he's always been the "real Republican" in the race.
"Well, my candidacy has been for fighting for the soul of the Republican Party," Hoffman said. "I think the events of the last two days have shown that I have been the real Republican in this race, the real common sense conservative Ronald Reagan Republican."
Earlier in the day, Vice President Joe Biden suggested that conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh "handpick[ed]" Hoffman to run. Hoffman called that notion "ridiculous": "I've never spoken to Rush Limbaugh so I don't know where he's getting that information from."
(CNN) - The Republican National Committee is pouring some last-minute money into the highly-anticipated special election in New York's 23rd congressional district with a new radio ad, as the party throws its support to Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.
The RNC released a new radio ad on Monday encouraging Republicans to support conservative candidates on Election Day. Without naming Hoffman, the narrator says that voters "need conservative leaders who stand up for our values."
"Whose side are you on? The Pelosi-Paterson tax-and-spend train wreck?" the narrator asks in the ad, echoing a Hoffman campaign theme. "Or do you believe in Republican conservative values, like thrift, personal responsibility, and family? Let's tell the liberals, enough is enough."
The RNC had previously backed Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava, who dropped out of the race over the weekend and officially backed the Democratic nominee, Bill Owens.
The ad will air for two days in North Country media markets. The RNC would not reveal the size of the buy.
(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.”