Democrat Bill Owens wins NY-23
The Democrats finally got some good news tonight when Bill Owens won the special House election for New York District 23, in the North Country along the Canadian Border. With 88% reporting, Owens led Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman 49% to 45%, with Republican Dede Scozzafava, who dropped out of the race over the weekend, garnering 5%. Hoffman had the backing of many establishment Republicans over the more moderate Scozzafava, who endorsed Owens after dropping out of the race.
While Obama did win this district by 5 points last year, this is the first time that the district has been represented by a Democrat in over 140 years, and it leaves New York with only two Republicans in its 29-member Congressional delegation.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the Republican party now as it gears up for next year’s Congressional midterms. Did the national party cut off its nose to spite its face by backing Hoffman in the name of ideological purity? Will the party split in two and give us a viable third party? Will moderate Republicans align with the Democrats now?