Yesterday, I argued that the outcomes in the two gubernatorial elections next Tuesday will not portend very much for the more important 2010 midterms. But, there is one race that is worth watching, the special election in New York’s Twenty-Third congressional district. The incumbent Republican left to become Secretary of the Army. The local Republican committee nominated a moderate, Dede Scozzafava, but that did not sit well with social conservatives who have rallied around the Conservative Party candidacy of Doug Hoffman.
The race has become something of a proxy war for control of the Republican Party. The leadership in Congress, and their political arm, the National Republican Campaign Committee, backs Scozzafava but those with their eyes on the GOP nomination in 2012 have broken ranks. Former Senator Rick Santorum and former Governor Sarah Palin have both endorsed Hoffman as has Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. It tells you something about what they think of Minority Leader John Boehner that they are willing to stick their finger in his eye so blatantly.