Republicans in New York's 23rd Congressional District are blaming Conservative Doug Hoffman -- and through the transative property UNYTEA -- for Matt Doheny's defeat at the Hands of the incumbent Democrat Bill Owens last night.
But Hoffman and UNYTEA's brass are firing back.
While not actively campaiging, Hoffman remained on the Conservative line and garnered 9,500 votes. Without counting the 9,000 abesentees cast in the district, Owens bested Doheny by 4,000 votes.
This morning, newscasts across the region contained clips and quotes of GOP anger as they blaseted Hoffman for either not getting out earlier or not publicly supporting Doheny at campaign events.
This from Hoffman spokesman Rob Ryan, who blames, not surprisingly, the GOP party bosses:
Doug Hoffman said, “The outcome of the 23rd Congressional race is proof positive that the Republican and Conservative Parties must work together to achieve victory. The spoilers in this race are the political bosses who have yet to come to that realization. The 23rd Congressional District’s 11 Republican County Chairs knew since January that I would be on the Conservative Party line and that I would have no legal way to get off it after July. Yet, they endorsed Matt Doheny even though I had the grass-root support and momentum from the 2009 campaign to create a Republican/Conservative landslide in 2010. The Republican bosses in the 23rd CD have to live up to their big tent philosophy. I am a living example that they did not.”
And from UNYTEA Chair Mark Barie:
I congratulate Congressman Owens on his apparent victory in the race for Congress in the NY 23rd Congressional District.
The results of yesterday’s election, however, should not be interpreted as a mandate for more taxes and more spending.
Mr. Owens was reelected by the narrowest of margins and with less than fifty percent of the vote.
He is no longer a member of the majority party and most of yesterday’s winners in the House races, campaigned on the repeal of the Health Care act which Mr. Owens supported.
Mr. Owens is one of the lucky ones.
He has been given a second chance to lower our taxes, to reduce government spending, and to limit the size of government.
UNYTEA will be watching with great interest.
The narrow margin of Mr. Owens victory can be attributed to any number of factors. There was widespread confusion as to whether or not Doug Hoffman was still in the campaign. The extremely negative ads, many of them paid for by organized labor, which depicted Matt Doheny as a Wall Street investor who paid no taxes, were grossly inaccurate but apparently effective.
In the end, Mr. Owens garnered about as many votes this year as he did last year. But Mr. Doheny and Mr. Hoffman, the two fiscal conservatives in this race, received more than 52% of the total vote.