Tag Archives: New York’s 23rd Congressional District

Scozzafava: Does Palin Even Know Who She’s Endorsing?

It’s a Grand Old Purging as moderate’s ouster spotlights Republican dysfunction

Since the GOP nominee dropped out of the race in New York's 23rd Congressional District amid pressure from conservative leaders, Dede Scozzafava has been swept into the national political conversation.

Since the GOP nominee dropped out of the race in New York's 23rd Congressional District amid pressure from conservative leaders, Dede Scozzafava has been swept into the national political conversation.

Gouverneur, N.Y. — Over Halloween weekend, Dede Scozzafava morphed from a rosy-cheeked Republican mom to a political figure of speech.

“My name’s a verb now,” she said.

A little-known state assemblywoman with moderate Republican views and a mouthful of a surname, Scozzafava’s bid for an open seat in New York’s 23rd Congressional District drew trash talk from conservative leaders hoping to purge her from the party, mash notes from White House-dispatched Democratic suitors that included Bill Clinton, and the unblinking gaze of political professionals fascinated by her role as the problem child for a dysfunctional Republican Party.

Even as she now hopes to return to her normal life of local politics, laundry and choir practice for next month’s big performance of Bach’s Christmas Cantatas, the political forces that swept her up have not entirely let her go. Last week, while watching a news show about the next sharply contested Senate Republican primary in Florida, her parents reported that one of the commentators asked whether the moderate was in peril of getting “Scozzafaved.”

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Local Issues, Not Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck, Decided Upstate New York’s 23rd Congressional Race

U.S. Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY) (L) poses for photographers with Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (R) as (2nd L to 5th L) Owens' granddaughter Caroline Antonipillai, wife Jane, son Brendan and daughter Jenna look on during a mock swearing in November 6, 2009 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Owens won the special election for seat that was vacated by John McHugh.

U.S. Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY) (L) poses for photographers with Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (R) as (2nd L to 5th L) Owens' granddaughter Caroline Antonipillai, wife Jane, son Brendan and daughter Jenna look on during a mock swearing in November 6, 2009 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Owens won the special election for seat that was vacated by John McHugh.

ALBANY – Despite the national attention lavished on New York’s 23rd Congressional District, Democrats won a surprise victory because of local concerns over jobs, the trashing of an assemblywoman by outsiders and Republican feuding, experts said.

Democrat Bill Owens wooed voters with talk of dairy farms and small businesses, the analysts noted, while Conservative Doug Hoffman touted endorsements from right-wing media personalities such as Fox’s Glenn Beck and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Others suggested Hoffman’s vague positions on improvements to the St. Lawrence Seaway, Fort Drum Army base and other regional assets also hurt him.

Analysts said the state Conservative Party’s influence over the GOP’s future direction would be diminished because while Hoffman drove moderate Republican Assemb. Dierdre Scozzafava from the field, he couldn’t clinch the House seat.

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