March 9th, 2010
09:06 AM ET
12 years ago

Hoffman mounts another bid in NY-23

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="Doug Hoffman will make a second run for New York’s 23rd Congressional District seat, he announced Monday night."](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.

Local GOP leaders in the district - represented by Republicans for more than a century, but won by Barack Obama in 2008 - tapped Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava as their party's nominee in the contest because they felt her moderate views would appeal to centrist Republicans, independents and even some Democrats. National GOP organizations backed her as well.

But the move sparked a revolt among many conservatives, who were angry with what they called Scozzafava's liberal positions on fiscal matters such as the stimulus package and Wall Street bailout, as well as cultural issues like same-sex marriage and abortion. They backed Hoffman, who ran on the Conservative Party ticket.

Scozzafava suspended her campaign three days before the election after she nose-dived in public opinion polls following a flood of support and contributions for Hoffman from prominent conservative politicians and organizations. The next day, Scozzafava endorsed Owens. The split among Republicans contributed to Owens' win.

Hoffman said a poll he commissioned in January, along with "words of despair" from his tax-burdened clients, convinced him to run again.

"Their words of despair have filled me with resolve," he said. "They made me realize the fight we face is bigger than any one individual. If we do not shift the balance of power in Washington and Albany this year, our chance may be lost."

Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg, two non-partisan political handicappers, both rated the seat - prior to Hoffman's announcement - as "Lean Democratic."

At least two other Republican candidates are also seeking their party's nomination. The National Republican Congressional Committee is not taking sides, but they remain confident they'll win back the seat in NY-23.

"All across New York state there is momentum for Republicans, and that includes the North Country," NRCC Spokeman Tory Mazzola told CNN.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • Doug Hoffman • New York
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Tom in Delaware

    Shouldn't have any problem beating the guy who vowed to not vote for Health Care then voted for Health Care 24 hours later.....go get'em.

    March 9, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. Charles W. Skinner

    Hoffman WILL win the Republican Primary and WILL win the NY-23 seat in November. He is a known quantity to the Republican voters in the district, and there are STILL questions regarding the final vote count in the election that put Rep. Owens in place. The final tally was within 3000 votes of difference, and Hoffman had no organized national support, while Scozzafava had RNC support, and Hoffman STILL almost beat Owens. If Hoffman is on the Republican, Independent and Conservative lines, expect a landslide defeat of the Democrat in the race.

    Hoffman will crush his primary opposition, and then finally with the RNC and RNCC support he SHOULD have had in the election last year, he will bring a Conservative voice back to the NY-23 district.

    March 9, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. Fitz in Texas

    Living in Texas I wasn't able to vote for you Mr. Hoffman, but I was able to donate to your campaign and I'll do it again.

    March 9, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Great, he can lose again!

    March 9, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. Steve (the real one)

    Sadly, some who cannot intelligently debate the issues will attack this man solely based upon his appearance. Both sides do it! There is great ignorance and hate on both sides! The right attacks just as hard as the left. The saddest of all, some of you who do this attend Church on Sundays, proclaim to be Christians, and think all is well with you spiritually!! Get real and get right!

    March 9, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. joel palmer

    He won't do any better this time; he's nothing but a carperbaggiing nut job of the far right;

    March 9, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Enough is Enough

    This loser already cost us one seat. He's doing to NY what Palin did in losing the race for McCain.

    March 9, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Lee, California

    After 8 years of Bush/Cheney, I am surprised people still claim to be conservatives; I guest the Brits were right. "How can 51% of americans be so dumb twice?"

    March 9, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Jim

    Didn't anyone see this guy in front of the cameras during the election? He is not ready for prime time. I don't want the republicans to win this seat, so I would be happy if they nominated him.

    March 9, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. S Callahan

    Ah ..Ben....wrong story....anyhow, I believe God has this one already covered...get to the last chapter.

    March 9, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  11. Tom in Delaware

    Considering he only had 3 weeks to campaign the last time, Hoffman is going to CRUSH Owens this November's gonna be a great day to watch the Liberals squirm.

    November 2010 Democrat's Big Vacation

    March 9, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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