Armey Endorses Hoffman Over GOP Nominee in New York Special

Posted October 22, 2009 at 11:37am

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), a major backer of the anti-big government tea party movement, lent his support Thursday to Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in New York’s upcoming special election.Armey told Hoffman supporters in Watertown, N.Y., that he was endorsing Hoffman in the 23rd district race “for three very basic reasons; Doug Hoffman believes in lower taxes, less government and more freedom.—Armey’s nod is only the latest in a long string of endorsements that Hoffman has received from conservative groups and leaders who have split off from the Republican establishment and the party nominee, state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava.The Conservative Party nominated Hoffman because of objections over Scozzafava’s support for abortion rights and gay marriage, and ties to local labor unions, among other criticisms. And the growing strength of his candidacy, boosted by many of the same conservative commentators and activists that have rallied to the tea parties, has hurt Scozzafava’s prospects in the district.The Republican Party has tried to counter that by touting endorsements from former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), a colleague of Armey’s in Congress, and the National Rifle Association. But the latest poll in the race has attorney Bill Owens (D) leading Scozzafava by 4 points, with Hoffman peeling off a significant portion of Independent and Republican votes.Former Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.) vacated his seat to take the post of Army secretary in September, triggering the race. The election is Nov. 3.