[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/12/newt.0811.gi.jpg caption="Newt Gingrich endorsed Hoffman via Twitter Saturday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN)– Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who came under fire from some conservatives for endorsing Dede Scozzafava in next week's special Congressional election in New York, is now backing Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.
Gingrich made the announcement via Twitter shortly after the Republican Party nominee Scozzafava announced she was releasing supporters from their commitment to back her.
"Scozzafava dropping out leaves hoffman as only anti-tax anti-pelosi vote in ny 23 Every voter opposed to tax increases support doug hoffman," Gingrich wrote on Twitter. (Tweet shown as it appeared)
Polling showed that Scozzafava was running third in this special election for what had been a traditionally safe Republican seat.
But a split among Republicans over who to support, Scozzafava or the more conservative Hoffman, opened the door for Democratic nominee Bill Owens to capture the seat.
National Republican Party officials, who had also endorsed Scozzafava, are now lining up behind Hoffman.
This new show of GOP unity will make it more difficult for Owens to win the election on Tuesday.