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New York: Club, Thompson Back Hoffman in Special

CPA Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party nominee in the special election to replace former Rep. John McHugh (R), continues to gain momentum, picking up endorsements from the Club for Growth and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) on Monday.

“Doug Hoffman is the only candidate in this race who will stand up for taxpayers and fight to protect our freedoms in Washington,— Club for Growth President Chris Chocola, a former Republican Congressman from Indiana, said in a statement.

Thompson, meanwhile, sent a letter to his FredPAC donors calling support for Hoffman’s campaign “an opportunity to send a message to Washington, to the Obama Administration and to the politicians who have made careers of ignoring the will of the people they represent. Running, as the Conservative Party candidate, in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, Doug Hoffman is doing just that.—

The two endorsements come as a blow to the Republican nominee in the three-way special election, state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, who continues to see support from conservatives erode. The National Republican Congressional Committee responded to the news Monday by issuing a news release with a blog posting from the Watertown Daily Times, suggesting that Hoffman, who competed against Scozzafava and others for the GOP nomination, initially offered to help her in the special election, which is expected to be held on Nov. 3.

The NRCC also pointed out that it will be the voters, not “Washington insiders— who select the next Member of Congress.

Lost in the internecine Republican warfare Monday was the fact that attorney Bill Owens, the Democratic nominee in the special election, began airing his second TV ad of the campaign. The ad shows Owens behind the wheel of his car as upstate New York business leaders tout his record on job creation.

Both the NRCC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are on the air with ads. Through Monday, the NRCC had spent $119,000 on independent expenditures in the race, almost twice as much as the DCCC’s $62,000 investment.

Scozzafava got one piece of good news Monday: The family of Owens’ former law partner endorsed her. But Owens’ former law partner is the late state Sen. Ronald Stafford, a Republican — so the endorsement isn’t altogether surprising.

Cooper Hits the Road Trying to Raise Profile

Suffolk County Legislator Jon Cooper (D), who has opened up an exploratory committee as he ponders a primary challenge to appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D), is working to raise his profile among party leaders and activists.

Cooper announced Monday that he’ll be in Buffalo on Tuesday and Wednesday to attend the New York State Democratic Committee’s fall business meeting. He plans to meet with a variety of elected officials and party stalwarts while he’s there.

Cooper traveled last week to Syracuse and other communities in central and western New York.

Cooper has started to increase his campaign activities after several Members of Congress decided against challenging Gillibrand next year. So far, only labor activist and author Jonathan Tasini (D) is planning to run against Gillibrand.

Cooper, a wealthy businessman who is openly gay, also plans to attend the Human Rights Campaign’s annual gala in Washington, D.C., next month.

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