Gouverneur, NY, Nov 05, 2009 — New York's Independence Party is courting Republican Dede Scozzafava as she completes her term in the Assembly. Independence Chairman Frank MacKay told the Associated Press Scozzafava appears to be a true independent. She won re-election last year with the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Working Families lines.
She ended her campaign for the 23rd CD last weekend as it was overtaken by Conservative Doug Hoffman. He lost in Tuesday's voting, to Democrat Bill Owens... so the election is over. But between pulling out of the race and the voting Tuesday, Scozzafava endorsed the Democrat, and it's hard to predict how deep and long lasting the rift between the Assemblywoman and the leaders of her party will be.
It was a bruising race for Scozzafava. GOP leaders from each of the District's 11 counties chose her as their candidate. But their support evaporated as they watched Conservative Doug Hoffman collect national attention -- and money.
By then end, many of her fellow Republicans scorned her for what they called "liberal" views. GOP leaders, from former Gov. George Pataki to many of the district's county chairmen, embraced the Conservative Hoffman. And there were suggestions from within the GOP that there would be a local challenge her if she sought re-election to her Assembly seat.
Speaking with North Country Public Radio's Jonathan Brown yesterday, Scozzafava said the well-funded TV ads from Hoffman and his supporters misled voters about her political record. And worse...she said: "if the type of hatred and vitriol and lies and deceit that I heard coming from factions of our Republican Party... if that's where the soul of our party is... all is not well with thy soul. It is really not well." Here's their conversation: