The Campaign Spot

Only in New York: Vote for Me, on a Date to Be Determined Later

It’s not often you find a House campaign without an election day, but there’s one in New York State right now.
The 23rd district of New York had been represented by Republican John McHugh, but he has departed the House to be sworn in as the new secretary of the Army. Seeking to maintain an uninterrupted streak of decisive, popular effectiveness, Gov. David Paterson has not yet declared a date for the special election.
Dierdre Scozzafava, state assemblywoman, was named the GOP candidate by local party chairs, but some conservatives inside and outside the district found her record unsatisfactory, and businessman Doug Hoffman is challenging her from the right, running on the Conservative-party line. The Democrats are represented by Bill Owens, a former Air Force captain.
A Capitol Hill Republican who’s watching the special election take shape is grumbling about Hoffman, arguing that Scozzafava would easily win a two-way race in the heavily GOP district, but that Hoffman cannot win, even in a three-way race. From this Hill Republican’s perspective, Hoffman is putting a GOP House majority one seat further away.
Having said that, Erick Erickson laid out the case against Scozzafava earlier in the year, arguing Republicans cannot be expected to support a candidate who is mostly pro-choice and pro–gay marriage and kinda “eh” on free-market issues and pretty pro-union.


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