Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hoffman concedes GOP primary, will remain in race

As reported by Jon Alexander:

The race for New York’s 23rd Congressional District is officially a three-way contest and the candidates on the right will have to overcome a fractured Republican-Conservative populace.

Doug Hoffman acknowledged Thursday that he had indeed been beaten by Matt Doheny in last week’s Republican primary – but he’s not going away without a fight.

The Hoffman camp confirmed that he will actively campaign and seek the congressional seat while solely appearing on the Conservative Party line.

“I do not continue this race out of spite or because of self conceived virtues,” Hoffman said. “I continue in this race because of the failings of my opponents to be truthful with the voters.”

With almost all of the Republican absentee ballots counted, Doheny has expanded upon the roughly 600-vote lead he had over the tea party-backed Saranac Lake accountant when polls closed after the Sept. 14 GOP primary. Doheny now holds an insurmountable 740-vote lead.

The Doheny camp has all but begged Hoffman to step aside and back the Watertown banker’s bid to unseat the Democratic incumbent Bill Owens.

Alison Power is spokeswoman for the Doheny campaign. In a recent interview, she gave a stark assessment of the prospects of a three-way race.

“Doug Hoffman’s plan to stay in the race no matter what the Republican voters decide makes him the Democrat’s most effective operative,” Power said.

But Hoffman remained resolute that he can replicate last year’s success when he shoved then-GOP standard-bearer Dede Scozzafava out of the race just days before the general election.

“It was not an easy victory for Mr. Doheny; he outspent my campaign by a 12-1 margin and had the backing of all 11 of the GOP bosses and yet only out-polled me by a few hundred votes,” Hoffman said. “I will give voters a choice between two fast talking lawyers and a small businessman who will speak the truth.”

New York State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long says Hoffman is in – quote – “good shape."

“There’s no question about, there’s going to be a split vote and its going to be split three ways,” he said. “Taking a look at what happened in the primary, considering how much Hoffman was outspent, and to still come as close as he did – I think we’re in pretty good shape.”

Hoffman says Owens and Doheny will – quote – “do or say anything to get a vote.”
Most politicos consider a three-way race with right-leaning votes being split between Hoffman and Doheny a huge boost to Owens’s reelection bid.

Owens already enjoys a one-week head start in the sprint to the Nov. 2 general election. While the GOP has remained in a holding patter – waiting for the finalization of the primary tallies – Owens has launched campaign advertisements on television and radio.

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