Sunday, September 13, 2009

2009 CPNYS Hopeful: Doug Hoffman

President Obama nominated Congressman John McHugh (R-NY) as the next Secretary of the Army. When confirmed, a Special Election will be called in the 23rd District of New York.

The 23rd District covers the north-most section of New York State and borders Canada. The district has been represented by McHugh, a moderate Republican, since 1993. This district or a previous incarnation of this district has been represented by a Republican since 1871. The district is generally conservative and voted for Bush twice, but voted for Obama in 2008.

Because this will be a Special Election - the local party leaders select candidates and no primary is held in New York State. After initially considering courting Republican Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava, the Democratic Party selected an unaffiliated attorney from Plattsburgh named Bill Owens. His previous federal donation history includes a $750 donation to Alfonse D'Amato when he faced Chuck Schumer in 1998. He's considered a more moderate to conservative Democrat. The Republican Party leaders selected Dierdre Scozzafava. Scozzafava is a member of the State Assembly who is pro-choice and in favor of same-sex marriage. She's also involved in her brother's business - which is massively in debt at the moment. On fiscal and social issues, the Conservative Party of New York gave Scozzafava a rating of 15 out of 100.

Based on these ratings - the Conservative Party of New York decided not to cross-endorse Scozzafava. Instead, they endorsed accountant Doug Hoffman. A CPA, Hoffman was the corporate controller for the Lake Placid Olympic Winter Games in 1980. He's also a small business owner - multiple small businesses, in fact. He supports a flat income tax rate, opposes Obamacare, and is pro-life. His candidacy has begun turning heads gaining some nationwide conservative press and comparisons to James Buckley's awesome Senate victory.

In order to gauge support - Hoffman hired conservative pollster McLaughlin & Associates to poll the 23rd district. The results were intriguing - showing 31% undecided. Hoffman was at 19%, Owens at 20% and Scozzafava at 30%.

Hoffman is trying to raise his profile and fundraise like crazy in the buildup to an actual campaign beginning. With luck, this third party Conservative will be able to buck the system and take down a 15% conservative and the Democratic challenger.

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