"I got into this race to win it," 23rd District congressional candidate Doug Hoffman said today at a press conference here when asked if he was surprised by his recent surge in the upstate New York special election. "Most of all, I'm surprised by the support we're getting nationwide. . . . It's overwhelming. I never expected it."
Indeed, as endorsements have poured in -- and Michelle Malkin and other conservatives have begun to demand the withdrawal of liberal Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava -- the momentum in NY23 appears to have shifted decisively toward Hoffman.
Hoffman appeared this afternoon with former House Majority Leader Dick Armey at a press conference in front of the Federal Building in Syracuse, where the Conservative Party candidate endorsed the flat tax. "Even though I'm a CPA, the flat tax is the way to create an environment for economic growth," said Hoffman, noting that simplifying the tax code would result in a substantial loss of tax-preparation business for his firm.
Armey said that Scozzafava lost the election "the day she was elected," since her record and policy stances place her far outside the mainstream of the conservative 23rd District. Armey expressed the hope that "the Republicans will learn a lesson" from the defeat of Scozzafava.
Local volunteers supporting the Hoffman campaign got a pep talk Wednesday night from Armey at an event in nearby Cicero, N.Y., reported by Nina Wegner of the Syracuse Post-Standard:
"You're sitting right in the eye of the storm. This country is at a crossroads," Armey told the group. "We have a special election. This is the game-changer. We've struggled with a Republican party ... that has lost its way. They don't remember about Reagan ... they don't remember about small government. They let their thinking be controlled by self-serving political objects. And frankly, they made a lot of fools out of themselves."
There is a strong feeling of momentum for the Hoffman campaign, but there have been some bumps in the road, including a contentious interview today with the publisher of the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily News. Despite the "fireworks" during that interview, however, nobody called the police.
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