(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Hoffman – whose insurgent campaign helped drive Republican Dede Scozzafava from the race – had rescinded his concession last week amid new vote counts that showed a narrowing vote gap between himself and Owens, and allegations that software problems in some voting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) – A prominent, socially moderate Republican said Sunday that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has achieved iconic status with the Republican Party’s conservative base, is an asset to the GOP.
“I think Sarah Palin is great for the Republican Party,” former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said in an interview that aired on CNN’s State of the Union.
Giuliani said Palin generates a lot of enthusiasm for the party which has struggled to define itself and identify its leading voices after the McCain-Palin ticket lost its White House bid a year ago.
“She gets a tremendous reception even here in Democratic New York,” Giuliani, who hosted Palin at a New York Yankees game, told CNN’s John King.
(CNN) – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani strayed from the facts in discussing the discord within the Republican Party caused by the insurgent candidacy of Doug Hoffman, a Republican who chose to run on the Conservative Party ticket in the recent special election for New York’s 23rd congressional district.
Talking about the Bill Owens, the Democrat who won the special election, Giuliani erroneously said Owens had voted against the Democratically sponsored health care reform bill that recently passed in the House of Representatives.
(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) – Top White House aide David Axelrod brushed off Democratic electoral losses in Virginia and New Jersey Wednesday, calling the congressional race in New York's 23rd district the "only national race of consequence."
Axelrod told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey were "impacted by state issues" and that they were not national races. He said the results of those races should not intimidate moderate Democrats, who he said should focus instead on the election in upstate New York, where a Democrat won the seat for the first time in over 100 years.
"That's the race that most members of Congress are going to look at with interest, and that's the race they should," Axelrod said. "Because the message was, if you embrace the president's agenda… then you will do well and you'll energize voters and you'll get the kind of turnout you need to win your race."
Many Republicans have called the race in NY-23 a unique situation - since the local GOP appointed the nominee instead of conducting a primary, which they say Hoffman would have won - Axelrod called the chaotic contest evidence of an intra-party split.
"What you saw there was I think the future, or the near-term future of the Republican Party, civil war in which the right wing ran the moderates out of the party," Axelrod said. "And they ran right to the Democratic candidate. And I think that has some harbingers for what's to come."
Tune into The Situation Room beginning at 4 pm ET for the rest of Wolf Blitzer's interview with Axelrod.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed Democratic electoral defeats in New Jersey and Virginia as "two very local elections" that say nothing about President Barack Obama's standing with the American people right now.
"It's hard to pick national trends out of local elections," Gibbs told reporters at a Wednesday briefing just hours after incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine was knocked out despite Obama's two appearances in New Jersey on Sunday. Obama also had campaigned for Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for governor in Virginia, who lost as well.
Gibbs noted that exit polls showed the number two issue in New Jersey was local property taxes, and claimed that and other data shows the gubernatorial races were decided on local issues "that did not involve the president."
But Gibbs was eager to tout Democrat Bill Owens' victory in the hotly contested House special election to represent New York's 23rd Congressional District. The press secretary noted that GOP officials "purged" the Republican candidate in the race to make way for Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – CNN projects Democrat Bill Owens wins in New York's 23rd congressional district, defeating Conservative Party candidate Doug 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.