Congressional hopeful Doug Hoffman says he does not view the Conservative Party endorsement as a given or something he is owed.
The Lake Placid public accountant who recently purchased a home in Saranac Lake is traveling the North Country, meeting with Republican, Conservative and Independent party leaders.
Hoffman is in a two-way race for the GOP nomination with Watertown banker Matt Doheny. He narrowly lost to Democratic Representative Bill Owens last fall in a special election to fill the 23rd Congressional District seat.
Some Conservative Party members, like those in St. Lawrence County, stated they felt as if Hoffman assumed he’d nailed down their support.
Hoffman says nothing could be farther from the truth.
“I don’t assume anything,” he said. “I’m out to re-run in this race and I’m out to beat Bill Owens. I believe that whatever happens, I need to earn the respect and confidence of the voters in the 23rd District.”
Hoffman also notes that whoever gets both the GOP and Conservative lines will be able to draw enough support from those in the middle to defeat Owens.
Mike Long is chairman of the New York State Conservative Party. Hoffman believes he has his support.
“Mike Long has indicated to me that he wants me to be the Conservative candidates,” he said. “That’s all I know at this point.”
Last year’s race to replace now-Army Secretary John McHugh ended with Owens on top, after Republican Dede Scozzafava withdrew days before the election and threw her support behind the Democrat.