CQPolitics -- NY23 Special Election

CQPolitics -- NY23 Special Election - 1 CQ TODAY ONLINE...

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CQ TODAY ONLINE NEWS House Nominee Picked For New York Special Election – POLITICS July 22, 2009 – 11:18 p.m. By Emily Cadei, CQ Staff Local Republicans have tapped state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava as their nominee-in- waiting for a House seat that is expected to open later this summer in New York. Scozzafava emerged Wednesday as the pick of the 23rd District’s Republican Party chairs from a field of nine candidates after an extensive vetting process. Her selection could create a schism with local conservatives, who already are attacking her moderate record, adding another dynamic to what is expected to be a heavily contested election this fall to replace Republican Rep. John M. McHugh , President Obama’s nominee to become secretary of the Army. Under state law, there are no primaries for special elections in New York, leaving the job to the 11 county chairs, who conducted a series of regional meetings with the candidates and local party members before voting Wednesday. “This was a excellent process given the high level of quality among a very strong field of potential candidates,” Franklin County Chairman Jim Ellis said in a news release. “This open and fair process has selected the very best candidate and enables us to move forward unified and energized to maintain this seat.” Obama’s decision to tap McHugh for the Army post ignited a succession scramble in upstate New York, giving Democrats an opportunity to pick off yet another Republican seat in the Northeast. The Republicans, however, have said they’re learning from their mistakes in losing a tight special election race in the neighboring 20th District in March. One element of that was conducting a far more open and thorough candidate vetting process. The Democrats have yet to nominate a candidate. Gov. David A. Paterson will set an election date once McHugh resigns. Observers say it is likely that Paterson will schedule the election as part of the regular November election process. In selecting Scozzafava, the chairs passed over attorney Matthew Doheny, who had indicated his willingness to self-fund the race with a $500,000 loan to his campaign. Including that loan, Doheny announced having already raised $800,000. 1
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Scozzafava formed a fundraising committee July 14, but has not disclose any funds raised. Scozzafava has served in the Assembly for the past decade, and prior to that was mayor of the village of Gouverneur from 1993 to 1998. Her centrist record in office — the Conservative Party of New York gave her a rating of 56 percent in 2007 and 40 percent in 2006 — could both win her the support of crucial independent voters and alienate conservatives. Conservative bloggers at RedState.com have already begun attacking her credentials. As one blogger wrote July 17, “If Dede Scozzafava is the best the New York Republicans can come up with, let’s just hand the district over to the Democrats.” And contributors to the site are touting an alternative candidate, 26-year-old conservative
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CQPolitics -- NY23 Special Election - 1 CQ TODAY ONLINE...

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