GOP Ex-Candidate Endorses Dem in NY Congressional Race

Scozzafava said Sunday that Democrat Bill Owens is the best candidate for the job

Sunday, Nov 1, 2009  |  Updated 4:15 PM EDT
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GOP Ex-Candidate Endorses Dem in NY Congressional Race

New York Assembly

Scozzafava dropped out of the race because she believed it was best for the party, reports say.

A day after Republican state Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava abruptly suspended her campaign in the New York special election, she's endorsing the Democrat in the race — not the Conservative Party candidate favored by fellow Republicans.

Scozzafava said Sunday that Democrat Bill Owens is the best of the remaining candidates to build on the legacy of the previous holder of the 23rd Congressional District seat. Republican John McHugh has taken a position in the Obama administration.

A recent Siena College poll showed Scozzafava finishing a distant third behind Owens and conservative Doug Hoffman.

The special election is scheduled for Tuesday.

"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," said Scozzafava in a statement released this afternoon.

Owens said he was "honored" to have won Scozzafava's endorsement, noting: "Now more than ever we need bipartisan solutions to help bring jobs to Upstate New York to get our economy back on track and move our country forward," the Washington Post reported.

According to Politico, whileScozzafava's abrupt withdrawal Saturday from the Nov. 3 House election in upstate New York came as a surprise, it shouldn't have — over the past decade or so the New York Republican Party has emerged as the political gang that couldn't shoot straight, an operation so inept that it's sometimes hard to believe it exists in the nation's third-largest state.

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