Wednesday, November 04, 2009

GOP divisions, newspapers in rural N.Y. district hand a congressional seat to the Democrats

A Democrat won a heavily rural and historically Republican congressional district in northern New York on Tuesday, following the eleventh-hour withdrawal of the moderate-to-liberal Republican nominee in the face of strong GOP support for the Conservative Party candidate.

Conservative Doug Hoffman lost to Democrat Bill Owens, who was endorsed by Republican nominee Deirdre Scozzafava and newspapers in the 23rd District. Sunday's endorsement by the district's largest paper, the Watertown Daily Times, may have been pivotal, Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham, a Hoffman supporter, told David Weigel of The Washington Independent, an online news outlet. "They roughed Hoffman up," Graham told Weigel.

For the Times story on the race, click here.


howard said...

Hoffman deserved to be roughed up. He wasn't from the district. He didn't understand the district. He didn't care about the district. He was merely a minion for national right-wing concerns who dismissed district issues as merely "parochial."

Which is how national political leaders look upon rural concerns, even Sarah Palin, who got involved in the race on behalf of Hoffman.

New York Republicans are very disciplined about hand picking their candidates. They generally do a good job of finding the right candidates for the right seats. This election was all about national control vs. local control, and the localist won.

Rural communities should be on guard, though, for more attempts to hijack their elections by populist right wingers looking to push nationalist agendas.

The Watertown Daily Times should be commended greatly for an outstanding job of coverage and a strong editorial stance in support of their district.

Time to get some bumper stickers made up: "parochial and proud."

John Warren said...

Well, I was going to write a long comment, but "howard" above hit the nail right on the head.

Hoffman (and his big media buddies) tried to make it a race on bogus national issues and missed the fact that it was a race about representing local people nationally, not the other way around.