There has been a lot of buzz about the NY-23 Congressional special election to fill the vacancy left by John McHugh becoming Secretary of the Army.
Initially, GOP party leaders hand-picked a moderate/liberal State legislator who was pro gay marriage, pro choice, anti-gun, etc. This caused some fervor among rank-and-file Republicans and support for the Conservative (there is a Conservative Party in New York with a ballot line) candidate. A number of national Republicans bucked the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee by endorsing the Conservative over the Republican. Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Dick Armey and others rejected the Republican. Even Republican members of Congress bucked their leadership. Arizona’s own John Shadegg was an early endorser and contributor to the Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman.
The Republican candidate, Dede Scozzaffa, pulled a shocker and suspended her campaign, leaving Hoffman to go head-to-head with the Democrat.
The Hill wrote a story about Hoffman’s candidacy potentially being a concern to less-than-conservative incumbents who may face primaries from the right in the upcoming election. I was quoted at the end of the story:
“Now is the time for Republicans to realize that returning to our principles of smaller government, lower taxes, traditional values and more freedom is not only the right thing to do, it will pay huge dividends at the ballot box,” added Sean Noble, a GOP consultant in Arizona. “If party leaders had half a brain they’d jump out in front of this mob and call it a parade.”
In a bizarre twist, the Republican candidate who dropped out, turned around and endorsed the Democrat over the Conservative candidate. This creates a big problem for the GOP leadership, who had put tons of money into the race defending her and hitting the Democrat. For those who endorsed Hoffman, it’s sweet vindication that they did the right thing.