[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/23/art.hoffman.cnn.jpg 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