New York Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava halted her campaign in the state’s 23rd District on Saturday morning after announcing on her website she did not have the poll numbers nor the money to remain competitive with candidates Conservative Doug Hoffman and Democrat Bill Owens. However, Ms. Scozzafava’s name will remain on the ballot when constituents go to the polls to vote on Tuesday.
Off year elections generally do not get much attention, so it should not be surprising to political observers that Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Owens will have to work over time to not only get out registered voters but also remind those going to the polls that Ms. Scozzafava has dropped out of the race, though the ballot will say otherwise.
The Washington Times Water Cooler is in the Upstate New York district and spoke to a handful of residents about the election. A Republican leaning motel staffer was surprised to learn from us in the early evening that Ms. Scozzafava had halted her campaign. Locals at a bar in Watertown were also unaware of Ms. Scozzafava’s withdrawal and admitted to not following the whole race closely.
Many expect that former Scozzafava supporters will go to Hoffman. In fact, A number of local Republican activists, who were previously unmotivated by the Scozzafava campaign, are already helping out the Hoffman camp. Jeremiah Maxon, a local GOP activist who proudly planted a Hoffman sign in his front yard today told the Washington Times,:
“A lot of our members are more socially and fiscally conservative than maybe the Republican [Scozzafava] candidate’s record shows. I know the members a lot more excited about Hoffman. A lot more people are motivated [now].”
Mr. Hoffman is not the only one benefitting from today’s news out of the Scozzafava camp. Labor support was previously split between Mr. Owens and Ms. Scozzafava. Mr. Owens will now receive the state’s full AFL-CIO support. The union has about 80,000 members and their families in the 23rd District.