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Hoffman out of Congress race

October 5, 2010 - Nathan Brown's political blog
SARANAC LAKE — Doug Hoffman has dropped out of the race to represent New York’s 23rd Congressional District.

Hoffman’s name will still appear on the ballot on the Conservative line; however, Hoffman said Tuesday morning that he wants his supporters to vote for Republican Matt Doheny.

“Our nation is at a crossroads, and it is imperative that on Election Day we wrest control of Congress from Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat majority,” Hoffman said in a prepared statement. “It was never my intention to split the Republican vote.”

Hoffman, a certified public accountant and businessman who lives in Saranac Lake, ran against Doheny in a Republican primary. When Doheny’s win became official almost two weeks ago after the absentee ballots were tallied, Hoffman said he would stay in the race on the Conservative line to offer an alternative to “a Wall Street lawyer and a Nancy Pelosi puppet,” as Hoffman then described Doheny and incumbent Democrat Bill Owens, respectively.

Hoffman accused both of them of being “not truthful with the voters,” citing Owens’ vote for the national health care bill and Doheny's support of abortion rights in the first trimester, despite describing himself as “pro-life.” Owens said during the 2009 campaign he wouldn’t vote for anything that would raise taxes on the middle class and small businesses, which Hoffman argued the national health care bill did.

Now, Hoffman has decided to back Doheny.

“Matt Doheny and I may have differed on some issues during the course of our primary race,” Hoffman said. “Now, we must put those differences aside and do what is best for our nation.”

Hoffman spokesman Rob Ryan wouldn’t elaborate on the statement Tuesday morning.

Sources close to the story have said repeatedly over the past month that Hoffman’s campaign didn’t have the financing or staff to be viable this year. His campaign offices in Plattsburgh and Watertown closed after the primary. His main office on Saranac Lake’s River Street has usually been closed since then, although there has been some activity visible over the past week.

Hoffman ran on the Conservative line in last year’s special election against Owens and Republican Dede Scozzafava. The race garnered a lot of national money and media attention, and Hoffman won support from large national conservative groups such as the Club for Growth and Republican notables such as former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Scozzafava dropped out of the race the weekend before the election and endorsed Owens, who won by about 3,600 votes.


Article Comments



Oct-05-10 3:24 PM

I will not vote for a district 23 rep this November as many will not. If we do not have a credible candidate, then we can say we were not responsible for result of the mess both will cause. I will remain true to the moral values of Doug Hoffman. Thanks Doug for all you have done. I am so disappointed in the pressure that the Republican party gave him and his family. Hope they can sleep at night. .


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