Democrat Bill Owens won New York’s 23rd congressional seat this evening. Mr. Owens beat Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman by three percentage points. New York Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, while already out of the race, was still listed on the ballot today. As a non-candidate this evening, she managed to pull in six percent of the district’s vote. It remains to be seen how Ms. Scozzafava’s numbers took away or added to from either Mr. Owens’s or Mr. Hoffman’s final tally.
The Water Cooler expressed concerns over Ms. Scozzafava’s listing on ballot the day she left the race and locals had been unaware of Ms. Scozzafava’s withdrawal.
While the left will spin this race as a rejection of conservatism, a few things should be remembered. The New Jersey and Virginia races give a better hint of what could very well be in store for 2010. The Republican Congressional win of 1994 happened after the GOP won both Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections in 1993. In Maine, conservatives won a victory by repealing state legislation that made same-sex marriage legal.
Ms. Scozzafava’s last minute withdrawal from the race and endorsement of Mr. Owens is seemingly suspicious. Her husband, union organizer Ron McDougall, remained dodgy with our questions regarding labor involvement with his wife’s backing of the Democrat in the race.
As of now, Ms. Scozzafava has not left the Republican Party and joined the Democrats officially, but her actions during this campaign cycle show it will be no surprise if Ms. Scozzafava declares herself a Democrat in the near future.
2010 should still remain a scary reality for a number of Democrats in the Congress who came from districts that supported Senator John McCain (R - Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential election. If Democrats are pinning their hopes on an upstate New York special election, they are fooling themselves. A three-percentage point victory over the closest competition in a three-way race, where the spoiler appears to be the former Republican candidate, says more about how far conservatives have come in New York than anything else.
Mr. Hoffman is likely not done with life in the political spotlight. Conservatives have embraced the man who said during his concession speech this evening,:
“I hope what I have shown you and the rest of the world is that you don’t have to be polished, you don’t have to be poised, and you don’t have to be a rock-star to be a politician. All of us can step up to the plate and do it.”