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Hoffman Begins Airing TV Ads in New York Special

Douglas Hoffman, the Conservative Party nominee in the three-way special election to replace former Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.), went up with his first TV ad Thursday, and it’s a full-throttle assault on state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate.

The 30-second ad, which can be viewed at, uses humorous images to accuse Scozzafava of being a “fake— Republican.

An Elvis impersonator, a generic super hero in a garish costume, and a man wearing a Ronald Reagan mask jump into the picture, as a narrator says, “A fake is easy to spot. A costume can’t make you fly. And pretending can’t make you a Reagan Republican.—

The ad goes on to call Scozzafava “an Albany politician and a liberal Republican— who has voted for gay marriage, bailouts of the mortgage banking industry, and tax increases.

“We’ve all seen cheesy Elvis impersonators try to pass themselves off as the real thing; sometimes they make you cringe with embarrassment,— said Nelson Warfield, Hoffman’s media consultant, who produced the ad.

The spot is part of Hoffman’s plan to chip away at Scozzafava’s conservative support. Scozzafava is a social moderate with close ties to organized labor. National Republicans believe that profile is extremely potent for the swing upstate district, which President Barack Obama won by 5 points last year. But they did not count on Hoffman — a CPA from Lake Placid who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination — taking away votes from Scozzafava on the right.

Hoffman’s ad is the third to hit the airwaves this week. Attorney Bill Owens, the Democratic nominee, began running a biographical spot earlier this week, and the National Republican Congressional Committee is airing an ad that attacks Owens.

Hoffman’s campaign provided no information about the size or scope of its media buy. There are five media markets in the 23rd district.

Although the special election to replace McHugh, who is set to become secretary of the Army, has not been scheduled yet, it is likely to take place on Nov. 3, Election Day.

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