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Hoffman for Assembly? (update)

Tom Scozzafava says he might seek independent line

March 8, 2012
By CHRIS MORRIS - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

LAKE PLACID - Doug Hoffman says a run for the 113th Assembly District seat being vacated by Teresa Sayward isn't out of the question.

But the accountant from Lake Placid continues to stress that he won't be making any decisions until new state and federal legislative lines are set.

"I've had many people encouraging me to take a look at that in addition to the congressional seat," Hoffman told the Enterprise, referring to his consideration of a third congressional run. "I'm pretty flattered that they would be encouraging me and considering me for that. It definitely, at this point, is an option."

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Sayward's announcement last week that she won't seek another term has sparked a lot of interest in the seat. Moriah town Supervisor Tom Scozzafava, Jay town Supervisor Randy Douglas, Queensbury town Supervisor Dan Stec, Thurman town Supervisor Evelyn Wood and former Glens Falls Mayor Robert Regan are all considering a run.

Hoffman said the Assembly seat intrigues him because he believes in fiscal responsibility at all levels of government.

"The talk is that we need to have budgets balanced, cut spending, cut the debts and help build the economy and spur economic growth," he said.

Voters will have to wait until new congressional lines are drawn to find out what Hoffman will do. He told the Enterprise in February that a third congressional bid could happen if what is now the 23rd District is redrawn to include Lake Placid.

If maps proposed this week by Special Master Roanne Mann become official, all of Essex County would be swept into the district, which is now represented by Democrat Bill Owens against whom Hoffman ran in 2009 and 2010. Owens already faces a bevy of challengers, including Republicans Matt Doheny, Kellie Greene and Tim Stampfler, as well as Green Party candidate Donald Hassig.

Mann's proposal would be unnecessary if the state Legislature strikes a deal first.

"The time compression, because of the fact that they aren't coming to any conclusions on both the Assembly district and the congressional district, it's forcing almost a dual line here for me - I have to look at both options as we're going along here," Hoffman said.

Meanwhile, some GOP committees and party chairmen in the North Country have already endorsed Doheny. The latest, decided Wednesday, was the Clinton County Republican Committee.

In the meantime, Brett Thompson, chairman of the town of Moriah Republican Committee, has already endorsed Hoffman for Assembly.

"I think Doug is the only one that can market the Adirondacks," Thompson said, referring to Hoffman's experience as accountant during the 1980 Olympics.

"He was a young man then; everything he touches turns right to gold."

Thompson said he briefly considered running for Assembly but would prefer to see Hoffman announce a bid. If Hoffman ended up running for Congress, Thompson would still support him.

"I don't know what his intents are," he said.

Elsewhere, Scozzafava said he would consider running as an independent - if he decides to get into the race.

"I will definitely file an independent petition if I run," he said. "If I get the Republican endorsement, I would run on that and I would also try for the Conservative line."

Scozzafava said questions surrounding his support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Owens will be raised if he declares his candidacy.

"I shouldn't have to defend that," Scozzafava said. "I'll support and vote for whom I please. I think a big problem with politics today is the partisan politics. That's why you have so much gridlock on the national and state levels."

Scozzafava said he'll meet with Douglas on Friday and discuss the race. He expects to make a decision by Friday night.

Essex County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Sue Montgomery-Corey said she hasn't discussed the possibility of a Douglas run with committee members yet. She said she did invite him to come to a meeting, however.



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