Doug Hoffman, the star of last year’s NY-23 special election from the Conservative Party of New York ticket, has lost the Republican primary in his attempt to win the seat this time around. But it might not be over for him.
With 93% of precincts reporting, businessman Matt Doheny has 53% to Hoffman’s 47% and the Associated Press has projected Doheny as the winner. Doheney will now face Democratic Rep. Bill Owens, who narrowly defeated Hoffman in last year’s special election — and picked up a seat that had been held by the Republicans since the party’s birth in the 1850s — which involved Hoffman successfully forcing the moderate Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava out of the race.
However, Hoffman is still the nominee of the Conservative Party, thanks to New York’s fusion system that allows a single candidate to run on multiple party lines. And throughout this campaign, Hoffman has not ruled out continuing in the race as a Conservative, if he did not win the GOP primary. So let’s see where this goes. Will small-c conservative voters unite around Doheny — or will Owens benefit from a split vote on the right?