Doug Hoffman says his campaign in upstate New York's 23rd District is "squeezing" liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava in a three-way special election.
"There's only 20 days left . . . but we have her on the run," Hoffman told reporters, bloggers and conservative activists in a conference call Wednesday afternoon.
Running on the Conservative Party line, Hoffman's candidacy has hammered Scozzafava's extremely liberal voting record during her 11 years in the state assembly. And, as the Politico reported today, the GOP establishment's hand-picked candidate is rumored to be short on campaign cash, creating a legitimate opportunity for Hoffman to win the Nov. 3 special election.
"As a third-party candidate, I can win this race," Hoffman said, emphasizing that, with less than three weeks left until the election to succeed Rep. John McHugh in the 11-county district, fund-raising is essential. "We need to raise money to get the message out."
On his campaign Web site, Hoffman announced a fund-raising target of $125,000 this week. Noting that his opponent has previously been supported by ACORN and is currently a favorite of the liberal Daily Kos blog, Hoffman said his campaign has been "adopted" by the grassroots conservative Tea Party movement.
Hoffman has been endorsed by the "9/12" organization -- the political arm of the Tea Party movement, which staged major rallies on Sept. 12, including the 9/12 March On DC -- and says the grassroots activists are the foot soldiers of his campaign.
He recently held "six regional meeting with the Tea Party people," Hoffman said, and many visitors to his Web site have made online contributions of $9.12. The conservative Red State blog recently a $250,000 fund-raising goal for Hoffman's campaign.
In addition to Tea Party activists and major conservative blogs, Hoffmans third-party candidacy has also been endorsed by a broad range of free-market and social-conservative organizations, including the Club For Growth, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, and the Political Action Committee of the American Conservative Union, which hosted Wednesday's conference call. The ACU's David Keene called the New York special election "an incredibly important race."
Political insiders now view Scozzafava as a certain loser. Her liberal GOP candidacy has not attracted either voter support or campaign contributions and she is being outspent 12-to-1 in TV ads by Democrat Bill Owens. Hoffman suggested favoritism as the most likely explanation why the New York state GOP picked Scozzafava out of nine candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the Nov. 3 special election.
"It was an anointment . . . The party bosses, the lords of the backroom, made this selection," Hoffman said.
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