In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Conservative Doug Hoffman Drops Out Of NY-23, Backs GOP Nominee Dohney

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Newscom

Hoffman previously ran as the Conservative candidate in last year's special election, riding a right-wing revolt against moderate Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava. Hoffman's strength and support from national conservatives ultimately forced Scozzafava to drop out of the race. Scozzafava then issued a surprise endorsement of Democrat Bill Owens, who defeated Hoffman by a margin of 49.7%-44.8% in a district that Republicans had previously held since all the way back in the 1800s.

Hoffman tried to come back this year, running in the Republican primary, but lost narrowly against the establishment-backed businessman Doheny. One thing that should of course be noted is that Hoffman did intend to keep going as a Conservative. However, one thing he lacked here was a GOP foil such as Scozzafava, as Doheny is nowhere near the liberal she was. As a result, he then lost much of his Tea Party support to Doheny, as conservatives unified behind the GOP nominee.