NPR logo NY 23rd Conservative Hoffman Renounces Concession

NY 23rd Conservative Hoffman Renounces Concession

Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman has un-conceded in the 23rd Congressional District special election. Seth Wenig/AP Photo hide caption

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Seth Wenig/AP Photo

On Election Night two weeks ago, Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman gave a speech in which he conceded to Democrat Bill Owens in the special election in the 23rd Congressional District. But that was then.

On the Glenn Beck radio show today, Hoffman reversed himself, saying it was a mistake to concede. To some, it sounded like he was un-conceding.

According to the Watertown Daily Times (Watertown is one of the district's larger population centers):

Meanwhile, Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman was on Glenn Beck's radio program Monday and said he wished he had not conceded the 23rd Congressional District race.

Mr. Hoffman was 3,176 votes behind Mr. Owens before absentees were counted and reportedly 2,951 after absentees in three counties he won were counted.

There were a total of 7,419 absentee ballots returned in the district.

The Associated Press puts a sharper point Hoffman's actions:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman has withdrawn his concession in the close 23rd District Congressional race as New York election officials begin counting paper ballots.

Hoffman spokesman Rob Ryan says that the campaign is looking at the remaining military and other absentee and paper ballots that will be counted starting Tuesday. Hoffman made the announcement that he's "un-conceding" on Glenn Beck's national radio show.

Democrat Bill Owens was sworn into Congress after he was declared the winner of the Nov. 3 election. The latest results show him ahead by 3,026 votes. Counting the more than 10,000 paper ballots could take days.

The race drew national attention as Hoffman forced Republican nominee Dierdre Scozzafava (skoh-zuh-FAH'-vuh) to suspend her campaign when he drew more support.

The Democrats wasted no time swearing in Owens because they needed every vote they could muster on the health care overhaul legislation which Owens voted on, helping the Democrats get two more votes than the 218 required to pass legislation in the House.

While the expectation is that Owens will still be ahead even after the absentee ballots are counted, the legal and political mess that would ensue if he doesn't would just continue what has been a strange a star-crossed situation in the 23rd from the moment the need for a special election became apparent.