I feel bad for Doug Hoffman, the Conservative candidate who ran in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. He wanted to be the Republican candidate, but the 11 Republican county chairs instead chose to nominate Dede Scozzafava, a liberal Republican, who stood in opposition to almost everything in the Republican platform.
As we all now know, Scozzafava dropped out and endorsed Democrat Bill Owens. Even though Scozzafava was out of the race, she still garnered over 5% of the vote. It is likely that most of that 5% came from early votes that were cast with absentee ballots. Before yesterday’s elections, Democrats were saying that a Hoffman win would not mean anything for Republicans since he’s not running as a Republican. But now, since he lost, it’s a deadly blow to the Republican Party. Go figure.
Those 11 county leaders who voted for Scozzafava to be their candidate should be run out of town. What the hell were they thinking? Additionally, the political staff at the NRCC should be embarrassed and lose their jobs for wasting almost a million bucks on Scozzafava’s campaign. Seriously, the only race in which the RNC and NRCC had anything to do with last night was the congressional race in NY 23, and they lost it.
There are liberals out there who want to make the results in NY 23 some sort of referendum on all of those Republicans like Fred Thompson and Sarah Palin who helped Hoffman out. Had all those high-profile people not backed Hoffman, he would not have been able to get the race within five points of Owens.
What failed was the lack of leadership and foresight by the 11 county leaders who selected Scozzafava.
What failed was the inability of the NRCC and RNC to step in and make sure the best candidate was nominated to run in that district.
What failed was that, even after Scozzafava was selected, the Republican Party apparatus shrugged its shoulders and dumped hundreds-of-thousands of dollars into the Scozzafava’s race merely because she was a Republican, not because she believes in Republican principles.
We need strong conservative candidates like Doug Hoffman to run as Republicans. Hoffmann had no other choice than to run as a third party candidate. That’s different than a candidate who walks away from the Republican Party to run as an independent candidate even though no Republican candidate currently exists in that particular district.
Republicans enjoyed wide-spread support from independent voters last night. Republicans would be wise to recruit candidates like Hoffman to run for seats all across the county. The race in NY 23 wasn’t lost by Hoffman last night. Republicans lost it when they nominated Scozzafava. I hope Hoffman runs again next fall as a Republican.
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