Hoffman Announces 2010 Bid: I’m Not Saying There Was Voter Fraud In NY-23, But I’m Not Not Saying There Was Either

As Josh reported yesterday, Doug Hoffman is preparing a second run at the NY-23 congressional seat next year.

On his website yesterday, Hoffman laid out his reasons for deciding take on Rep. Bill Owens (D) so soon after he conceded to the freshman Representative for the second time. In short, Hoffman suggests again that the Nov. 3 special election was rigged in Owens’ favor — and then immediately apologizes to elections officials for offending them with the claim.From Hoffman’s 2010 announcement, posted to his campaign website yesterday:

Yes, there seem to have been many vote counting problems, missed vote counts and, as was recently reported by the Gouvernour Times, software problems in the computerized voting machines. Despite these incidents, I do not believe the voters of NY-23, or New Yorkers in general, would be well-served by a disruptive and costly recount that would most likely not change the election outcome.

Hoffman has made the allegations before, blaming ACORN and “chaos” at polling stations in a recent fundraising email for potentially leading to “another stolen election.” In yesterday’s statement, he backed off some of the claims:

I would also like to commend those election commission officials who worked tirelessly and may have taken offense to an unfortunate and poorly worded fundraising email that was sent out toward the end of our campaign. As we tried to make sense of the false vote counts and stories of so/ftware [sic] viruses in the voting machines, we never intended to imply the election commissioners had somehow acted improperly. This was never our intention and, on the contrary, the election commissioners went above and beyond to uphold their duty to ensure a fair election took place. I owe them a debt of gratitude for all they have done.

So what’s next? Hoffman says the secret to winning in 2010 is to start laying the groundwork early. “Next time we will be better prepared,” he writes. He also suggests he’ll run as a Conservative Party candidate again, rather than make a run for the GOP nomination. But Hoffman also says the the key to victory is for Hoffman’s national supporters to take the movement back to their own congressional districts:

But there is more to do than just win back NY-23 in 2010. We must work to help other like-minded citizen candidates win across the country. We need to make time to help other candidates who are working for the principles we hold dear… other fiscal, common-sense conservatives. Together we can successfully take back our great nation, one legislator and one member at a time. We need more than one common-sense conservative voice in the echo chamber of liberal, spend thrift cacophony if we are to redirect our great country.