Republican in NY House race suspends campaign

Dierdre Scozzafava, Republican candidate for New York’s 23rd Congressional District in the special election this year, has abruptly suspended her campaign amidst plunging support, saying it would be the best thing for her party. The race is now between Democratic Party candidate Bill Owens and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.

48 thoughts on “Republican in NY House race suspends campaign

  1. Pro-Pot Anti-Pot

    And now they only have two. Too bad, Scozzafava still could have won if she had endorsed the Pro-Pot Anti-Pot strategy, uniting her moderate base with the anti-pot conservatives and the pro-pot left and libertarians. This would have made her win by a wide margin.

  2. NewFederalist

    Let’s wait and see where her supporters go. I am not certain they will go to Hoffman if they are a “moderate” as has been suggested. She may have pulled out to make certain Hoffman doesn’t win.

  3. Third Party Revolution

    By caucusing, do you mean by staying with the Conservative Party yet siding with the Republican Party like Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders side with the Democratic Party even though they are independents?

  4. Richard Cooper

    Please note that Scozzafava has suspended her campaign, but under NY election law she cannot take her name off the ballot at this stage.

    It is theoretically possible that she will now cost Hoffman the election rather than Hoffman costing her the election.

  5. Kimberly Wilder


    I know the timing is close to the election. And, the paper ballots must be out.

    But, do you know the rule…

    Candidates can withdraw their name from the ballot for awhile if they move out of state or become judge.

    Does Scozzafava have time to use that strategy?

  6. Solomon Drek

    Many, if not most Republican candidates in New York, simultaneously run on the Conservative Line. I believe Bloomberg is running as a Republican but he is on other party lines as well.

    Obviously, in this case, the Conservative Party refused to give Dede their line because of her liberal views and gave it to Hoffman instead.

  7. Danny S

    Bloomberg didn’t get the Conservative Party nod though, just for the record. They have their own candidate who is polling a little over 2% in the NYC mayoral race.

  8. Pro-Pot Anti-Pot

    I’ve also just read, on a website called Democratic Underground, that the New York Independence Party just endorsed Democrat Bill Owens. Interesting, no?

  9. Eric Dondero

    Note to Steven Linnaberry:

    Every single elected Libertarian State Legislator in the past – Alaska, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Vermont – has “Caucused” with the Republican Party once they were sworn in as legislators.

    Andre Marrou even bragged about this, and explained in detail how he was a “Libertarian” technically, but on the Republican side of the aisle in the Alaska House, in 1986/87, in an interview with Reason Magazine.

    Hoffman would be no different. A Third Party member caucusing with the GOP.

  10. Eric Dondero

    I cannot believe that every single one of you here, is completely missing the essential importance for the Libertarian Party of Hoffman’s candidacy.


    Right now, at this very moment, a Libertarian Party candidate is the ONLY ONE on the ballot for Mayor of Durham, NC against a horrible incumbent Democrat. In other words, Republicans have NO OTHER CHOICE, but to support him. Why in the bloody hell isn’t the Libertarian Party of NC out there trying to get the NC GOP to officially back him, ala Hoffman NY CD 23?

    Slightly different, for the NYC Mayor’s race we have a faux Republican in Bloomberg on the GOP line, and a Libertarian Party candidate Joseph Dobrian running against him who is far more representative of real Republican views. Dobrian just received a small mention at Fox News. Why isn’t the NY LP out there clammoring for the NY GOP to officially endorse Dobrian, ala Hoffman??

    The Hoffman candidacy has opened up a Pandora’s Box for future Repubilcan support of Libertarian Party candidates in such special circumstances.

    Anyone remember the Bob Smither/Shelly Sekula-Gibbs fiasco in Houston, TX in 2006?

    The Libertarian Party has just been give a huge gift. Now will you all utilize it?

  11. Richard Winger

    Eric Dondero’ s post number 19 is inaccurate. The four Libertarians elected in 1992 in New Hampshire had their own caucus. So did the two Libertarians elected in 1994 in New Hampshire.

    Also, the Libertarian elected in New Hampshire, Steve Vaillancourt, in 2000 caucused with the Democrats. He was a registered Democrat at time but he had been elected solely on the Libertarian line.

    I don’t know if Dick Randolph and Ken Fanning had their own Libertarian caucus in Alaska 1980-1982, but I suspect they did. Randolph tried his best to be elected as the first Libertarian Party governor in 1982, and since he knew he would be running for Governor as a Libertarian in 1982, I doubt he and Fanning would have caucused with the Republicans. But I’m not sure.

  12. NewFederalist

    Richard- As I recall Dick Randolph and Ken Fanning were the balance of power in the Alaska House of Representatives. There were two more Democrats than Republicans in the House and if they swung to the GOP then stalemate resulted. I do not remember what they did regarding organizing the House but I seem to recall they called themselves the “Libertarian minority” rather than minority (as opposed to majority) party. Perhaps someone from up there can fill us in.

  13. NewFederalist

    TPR- I believe it would be a member of the American Labor Party from New York. I think the last member elected would have been in the early to mid 1950’s. Richard Winger or Darcy Richardson would probably know off the top of their head.

  14. Richard Winger

    The last time a minor party elected someone to the US House was 1949, when Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., was elected from the New York 20th district in a special election. He ran on the Liberal Party line and got 50.68% of the vote. Second was the Democratic Party nominee, who got 30.23%; then came the Republican, 12.45%, and the American Labor Party nominee, 6.64%. The election was May 17, 1949.

    Before that, the American Labor Party had elected Vito Marcantonio in New York in 1948, and before that, the American Labor Party had elected Leo Isacson in a special election in February 1948. Before that there were many Progressive Party victories for US House in Wisconsin 1934-1944, and Farmer-Labor Party victories in Minnesota in the 1920’s, 1930’s, and early 1940’s.

  15. George Phillies


    It appears from local press reports that the someone the Republican former candidate is endorsing is the liberal Democrat Owens rather than far-right conservative Hoffman.


  16. Darcy G Richardson

    Leo Isaacson’s upset victory in the February 1948 special election was widely viewed as the first real test of Henry A. Wallace’s strength as a third-party presidential candidate that year. Wallace had actively stumped for Isaacson.

    The ALP’s Vito Marcantonio, who frequently dug deep into his own pockets to help some of his impoverished constituents, was soundly defeated in 1950 when the Democratic, Republican and Liberal parties ganged up on him behind the fusion candidacy of James G. Donovan, a Harvard-educated lawyer whose massive campaign war chest was amply financed by Wall Street.

    Arguably the most left-wing member of Congress in American history and the only congressman to vote against the Korean War, the 51-year-old Marcantonio died of a heart attack while seeking to regain his congressional seat as an independent in 1954.

  17. Eric Dondero

    Oh man, I could tear Richie Winger a new asshole on every one of his points. Though, I don’t think I want to do that given his – ahem – sexual preference.

    But what the hell. I’ll do it anyway:


    He was describes as an ELECTED LIBERTARIAN on a number of websites last year, serving in the NH House. But he Caucuses with the Republican Party. I had him on my Blog Talk Radio show and asked him about this very thing. He was a bit cagey, but admitted that he was both a Libertarian AND a Republican.

    And funny how Richie avoids any mention of Jim McClarin who served for a breif period in 1998 in the NH Legislature.

    Also, no comment from Richie on Stephen Dresch, the only Libertarian to ever serve in the Michigan House of Reps. (Dresch was the only sitting legislator to publicly endorse Andre Marrou for President in 1992, then switched to Libertarian for the final 6 months of his term.)
    Dresch most certainly caucused with the MI GOP.

    I’ve met Randolph’s daughter who is an adjunct prof. at the Univ. of Alaska. I’ve never met him personally. But from what I understand he voted with the Republican Party while in the Alaska House 9 out of 10 times. As Richie well knows, Randolph went back and forth from the GOP and the LP numerous times in the 1980s.

    I’ve met Fanning. He was appointed as a State Senator for one term in the late 1980s, while still being an LP member. He told Ron Paul and I in his offices that he was both a Libertarian Party member and a Republican.

    Boy, you just sparked another memory. Vic Kohring, Rep. from Wasilla. Was a big supporter of Harry Browne. I met Vic on numerous occasions. Ditto for Vic. He was both a Libertarian Party member and served in the Alaska House as a Republican.

    Geez, I could go on and on and on. But you get the picture.

    Little Richie Winger, the guy who has a tendency to give people he invites to conferences wrong directions and even wrong information on the events location, gets it wrong on all counts.

  18. NewFederalist

    Wow! What a diatribe! I just don’t understand why you would be so totally venomous regarding Richard Winger. I find him to be one of the most even tempered and fair people I have ever met in the libertarian movement. He is a wealth of information and my experience with him is certainly nothing like yours apparently.

  19. Trent Hill

    Not to mention, Richard is right. Eric made a claim that all Libertarians elected to state legislators had caucused as Republicans–and he was clearly wrong. Richard gave specific examples. In response, Eric cited a some Libertarian legislators who DID caucus with Republicans (or who later said they were Republicans, or voted Republican, which doesn’t prove his point at all) as proof of his points, without realizing I guess, that it proved Richard’s.

  20. NewFederalist

    TPR- Yes but I really don’t think you can count Jim Buckley as a true “third” party. He was a Republican in everything but party. The incumbent appointed U.S. Senator Charles Goodell was the actual GOP nominee and also endorsed (and nominated) by the Liberal Party of NY. When Buckley won he made it very clear he was a Republican. Six years later he ran for re-election as a Republican and was endorsed and nominated by the Conservative Party of NY as well. He lost rather badly.

  21. Eric Dondero

    Why am I so venemous towars Richard Winger. Let me explain.

    About 2 1/2 years ago I was petitioning in Dallas, Texas on some local property rights issues. I was petitioning in front of a Wal-mart in Irving, working for Charlie Chavez out of Denver.

    Charlie had worked hard for me to secure the location. And boy was it good. I was getting 350 to 400 signatures a day.

    I was making more money than I’d ever made as a petitioner, save a Paul Jacob-backed drive in St. Louis one week.

    I was pulling maybe $600 – $700 a day.

    Then I get this call from Richard Winger. Seems he’s hosting some sort of conference for Third Party advocates in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He had heard that I was in Dallas, and wondered if I’d come up to speak to the group, given my reputation as the best political petitioner in the country.

    I reluctantly agreed. And asked Charlie for the day off.

    I had to rent a car, since my truck wasn’t in the best of shape.

    Took off early in the morning. What I thought would be an easy 3 hour drive, ended up being closer to 5 hours.

    So, I got to the location an hour early that Winger had given me directions too; A pizza joint on the outskirts of Tulsa in some small town.

    I felt a little uneasy. But hey, this is where he told me to go.

    I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited. The waitresses even started looking at me funny.

    Finally I gave up. Not a soul showed up for the event.

    I had to drive all the way back to Dallas, another 5 hours.

    To recap: I lost a whole day’s petitioning maybe $700.00 since it was a Sunday. I lost the cost of the rentacar, about $50.00. And I lost gas money, maybe another $50.00.

    I emailed Winger when I got back and asked him “what the fuck happened???”

    He told me that they changed the location at the last minute to some hotel in the same friggin’ town, BUT NOBODY BOTHERED TO CALL ME UP!!

    I lost some $800 due to Richard Winger, the so-called “Nation’s #1 Ballot Access Expert.”

    And you wonder why I’m so vitriolic towards him?

  22. Eric Dondero

    Here’s some references for Libertarians caucusing as Republicans once in office:

    Reason Magazine interview with Alaska State Rep. Andre Marrou 1986 (sorry don’t know which exact month).

    Fmr. State Rep. Leon Drolet, Michigan (for Steve Dresch.) Leon is now Chair of the Michigan Taxpayer’s Alliance, and very easily gotten a hold of.

  23. George Phillies


    Several years ago, the Connecticut for Lieberman Party re-elected Joe Lieberman, who ran against a Republican and the Democrat who had beaten Lieberman in the primary. National Democrats who supported Lieberman to victory have been paying the price ever since.

    On this election, note that Gingrich supported the real Republican. Note also that the Republican, having withdrawn, is endorsing the Democrat rather than endorsing the conservative.

  24. Richard Winger

    I did not host any meeting in Oklahoma in 2007. OBAR hosted it, chose the location, and later decided to move the location. Several of us had our cell phones on during the entire meeting, hoping Eric would call one of us, but he didn’t bother to call. And Jim McClarin was elected as a Libertarian to the New Hampshire House in 1994 and he resigned his seat in the middle of his first term because he was forced to move, and since he no longer lived in the district, he felt honor-bound to resign. He was not in the legislature in 1997. And all those examples he gives of other Libertarians were of people who were elected as Republicans, so naturally they caucused with Republicans. The only instances when people were elected to state legislatures as Libertarians were Alaska 1978, 1980, 1984; Vermont 1998; New Hampshire 1992, 1994, 2000. Steve Vaillancourt, elected in 2000, was a registered Democrat at the time and caucused with the Democrats. Some years later he switched to the Republicans, and he was re-elected in 2008 as a Republican. Everything I said in my earlier posts in this thread is accurate. Eric uses the Oklahoma meeting snafu as an excuse; what he really has against me is that I don’t swallow his line that the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party are virtual ideological twins.

  25. Don Lake, late at night

    By VALERIE BAUMAN, Associated Press Writer Valerie Bauman, Associated Press Writer – 15 mins ago

    ALBANY, N.Y. – In a Republican Party struggling to find its identity, the surprise withdrawal of the chosen GOP candidate for a New York congressional race — forced by a rising conservative upstart — renews a lingering national debate: Are moderates welcome in today’s Grand Old Party?

    The question became even more relevant Sunday when the ex-candidate, state Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava, threw her support behind the Democrat in the race rather than the Conservative Party candidate favored by fellow Republicans.

    The GOP leadership insisted on Sunday political TV talk shows the party is strong and inclusive while Democrats described a Republican party out of touch with the people.

    “We accept moderates in our party, and we want moderates in our party. We cover a wide range of Americans,” said Republican House Leader John Boehner in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    But in New York’s rural 23rd Congressional District, the message was clear early: Scozzafava was too moderate; some even used the dreaded “L” word

  26. Libertarianblue

    Providing Hoffman doesnt say something incredibly racist, anti-semtic or do something incredibly stupid he will win. This was really a blown opportunity by the LP to generate some serious noise. Now instead of a liberal statist, the religious right will have their statist foot in New York State.

  27. Richard Cooper

    I am the former LPNY State Chair. There is a procedure for endorsing candidates. If there is no county or multi-county LP in the district, it is up to the State Committee. The next meeting of the State Committee is after the election.

    As LPNY has no ballot status in NY, there would be no line for a NY-23 candidate without petitioning. The petition deadline was in August. Candidates must accept their line.

    An endorsement without a line is meaningless.

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