NY-23: Scozzafava Backs Owens

Breaking now:

It is in this spirit that I am writing to let you know I am supporting Bill Owens for Congress and urge you to do the same.

It’s not in the cards for me to be your representative, but I strongly believe Bill is the only candidate who can build upon John McHugh’s lasting legacy in the U.S. Congress. John and I worked together on the expansion of Fort Drum and I know how important that base is to the economy of this region. I am confident that Bill will be able to provide the leadership and continuity of support to Drum Country just as John did during his tenure in Congress.

In Bill Owens, I see a sense of duty and integrity that will guide him beyond political partisanship. He will be an independent voice devoted to doing what is right for New York. Bill understands this district and its people, and when he represents us in Congress he will put our interests first.

Please join me in voting for Bill Owens on Tuesday. To address the tough challenges ahead, we must rise above partisanship and politics and work together. There’s too much at stake in this election to do otherwise.

Well, I take back what I said about “reading between the lines” of Scozzafava’s statement yesterday. It’s good to see her doing the right thing here, and I’m sure it will only enrage the teabaggers further. (“See! She wasn’t a real Republican, just like we said!”) Quite a few other folks are also switching to Owens, among them the  New York State United Teachers union, which had previously spent about $50K on Dede’s behalf (see below). Several other unions are following suit, including the AFL-CIO and a local branch of the United Auto Workers. And Scozzafava’s husband, Ron McDougall – himself a union official – also endorsed the Democrat:

“This has been a difficult day for my family. But the needs and concerns of the men and women of the 23rd Congressional District remain paramount,” McDougall said. “As such, I wholeheartedly and without reservation endorse the candidacy of Bill Owens.”

“As a life-long labor activist, I know that Bill Owens understands the issues important to working people. On the other hand, Doug Hoffman has little regard for the interests of workers.”

“Hoffman’s opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, coupled with his support for the failed policies of the Bush Administration make him a poor choice to serve the citizens of the 23rd Congressional District.”

Similarly, the Watertown Daily Times had no problem enthusiastically backing Owens (they had previously given their nod to Dede):

Of the two, Bill Owens is by far the superior and only choice.

The Democratic candidate has demonstrated a willingness to listen to people about ways in which he could help the district as their representative in Washington. Mr. Owens has remained focused on the economy and job creation throughout his campaign. At the same time, he has shown an understanding of the military, a keen desire to help dairy farmers, an ability to work with labor unions and an eagerness to learn more about the vast, 11-county district that he hopes to represent.

Also, below is a chart summarizing all independent expenditures in the NY-23 race from Sept. 23rd (the first time outside groups spent money here) through Oct. 31st:

Organization Party Total Spent
DCCC D $1,102,039
SEIU D $334,312
AFSCME D $199,850
TOTAL Democratic $1,636,201
NRCC R $897,404
TOTAL Republican $945,654
Club for Growth C $645,285
Susan B. Anthony List C $78,700
National Republican Trust C $83,173
National Organization for Marriage C $49,099
Campaign for Working Families C $25,000
Gun Owners of America C $8,490
Eagle Forum C $4,996
Family Research Council C $1,978
TOTAL Conservative $896,721

As noted above, the NYSUT (the union behind VOTE/COPE) just switched over to Owens from Scozzafava.

90 thoughts on “NY-23: Scozzafava Backs Owens”

  1. how much difference this will make at the last minute. I think this is the most volatile race I can remember.  

  2. I thought that not only was Scozzafava’s dropout going to let Hoffman win, it was also going to lead to a crushing Corzine defeat as well. And the passage of Prop 1 in Maine for good measure.

  3. … we are in bad shape.  

    “Republican nominee drops out of race, endorses Democrat, to defeat whackjob.”  This is an absurdly easy message to sell.

    I also hope that Menendez is keeping up regular tabs on Crist.

  4. no matter what, it’s the first time that the Republicans lose this part of New York in 150 years.

    Anybody know of any media events on Monday between the two remaining candidates?

  5. Was Scozzafava running much of an absentee ballot drive? What about the unions that backed her? That could be a big problem if a lot of her supporters voted early.

  6. seeing your name on the ballot and voting for someone else. Oooh Dede

    Hoffman stock on intrade just plumeted. Kind of like Eric Sundwall endorsing Murphy.

  7. I finally read something that makes me willing to give Owens the benefit of the doubt and want him to win and now THIS clusterfuck happens.  Politics is wonderful, isn’t it?

  8. I was tempted in my last post in the previous Scozzafava thread that she still had time to make an endorsement and could very well endorse Owens since her husband did, but then I backtracked and decided that she’d pull a Hagel and not publicly endorse but have her spouse do so. Let me just say that I’m thrilled to have been wrong. I also feel vindicated for having supported her at the beginning, some of her economic stances notwithstanding. No matter who wins, this race has been an awesome case study for the future of the Republican Party.

    Having said that, go Owens!!

  9. http://www.politico.com/blogs/

    or was it Rahm – or even President Obama?

    Scozzafava’s decision comes one day after she abruptly suspended her campaign — and since then, the White House had been persuading her to come out in support of Owens.  In addition, New York Democratic sources tell POLITICO that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and state party chairwoman June O’Neill — who she has a close relationship with — also played a role in convincing Scozzafava to endorse Owens.

  10. with the limited time left should pick just one issue and drum it home.

    Hoffman’s anti-earmarks attitude, and earmarks WRT Fort Drum should be that issue, since that can be boiled down to one slightly simplified slogan:

    Save Fort Drum, vote for Owens.

    Probably most of Dede’s previous supporters could agree with that.

    Plus, that could be accompanied by the visual of supporters beating on drums. Biden could even pick up on that too during his visit tomorrow.

    Of course, the message that Dede has dropped out and is now fully supporting Owens is essential to get out as well.

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