Monday, 02 November 2009

Republican Withdraws from N.Y. Congressional Race After Conservative Revolt

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Dede ScozzafavaNew York Republican congressional nominee Dede Scozzafava withdrew last weekend from the special election that will take place Tuesday and endorsed the Democrat, Bill Owens, in a race where a third party candidate, Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman, has become a major contender. Yes, you read that right. In one of the most Republican districts in New York, one that borders Canada, Scozzafava ran up against a mass revolt by mainstream Republicans who charged that her long list of liberal credentials made her a “RINO” or Republican In Name Only.

The 23rd congressional district race is this year's only congressional contest and is being held to fill the vacancy being left by President Obama's nomination of Republican Rep. John McHugh as Secretary of the Army.

Scozzafava supports the leftist abortion agenda, twice voted for same-sex marriage as a New York State legislator, and supported increasing the minimum wage and increasing federal control over education. She won the endorsements of ACORN's Working Families Party, columnists on the ultra-leftist blog DailyKos, the pro-abortion group NARAL, and the teacher's union NYSUT. This leftist record is considered “moderate" by the New York Times.

Scozzafava had also won the enthusiastic endorsements of GOP National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and the NRA. But Conserative Party Doug Hoffman won a series of high-profile GOP endorsements, including Sarah Palin, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Scozzafava's endorsement of the Democratic nominee has essentially removed the “name only” from the RINO label. But Scozzafava's endorsement of Democrat Bill Owens didn't dampen Steele's enthusiasm for Scozzafava. Although Steele threw his support to Hoffman, Steele wrote on the GOP's website Sunday that:

The Republican National Committee respects Dede’s decision to suspend her campaign. This selfless act of releasing her supporters provides voters with the opportunity to unite around a candidate who shares Republican principles and will serve the interests of his constituents in Congress by standing in opposition to the liberal policies of President Obama and Speaker Pelosi.

Gingrich was likewise unapologetic about the situation, stating that “I think we are going to get into a very difficult environment around the country if suddenly conservative leaders decide they are going to anoint people without regard to local primaries and local choices.”

What the Scozzafava case proves is not that the local Republican Party in upstate New York is out of touch with America, it says that the national Republican Party leadership itself is run by RINOs. Republicans, Gingrich and the National Republican Committee say, should just accept whatever nominee they are given, even if the Republican supports the same leftist Obama agenda that the Democrats are pushing.

Photo of Dede Scozzafava: AP Images