With a week to go in gathering petitions, I have a hunch this purported three way race in NY 23 this fall may not be.
With the stated support of Conservative Chair Mike Long, it should be a lock that Doug Hoffman will again have the Conservative line, thus cinching a three-way race in the fall even if Matt Doheny, as expected, wins the GOP primary against Hoffman. Unlock last year's special election, this year's nominees of any party must gather valid petition signatures.
Hand-wringing, head-shaking Republican leaders say a three way race ensures the reelection of Democrat Bill Owens. I am not so sure on that, but it is conventional wisdom so let's for the moment assume it's true.
Then a week ago, the Hoffman campaign announced their candidate was to be gathering signatures at the State Street Burger King in Watertown. I have been to that BK and it's hardly a hotbed of Republicanism.
Petitions are best obtained by taking a walking list of party members and going to their home and getting the signature. That way it's a bullet proof signature. This is especially true in a minor party where the petition threshold is higher (5% of enrollment).
A candidate who thinks it's good to visit Burger Kings (or a Wendy's for that matter) to get petitions may not have the organizational resources to get solid sets of petitions in an eleven county district.
I don't know if Doheny is also circulating for the Conservative line as a backup for Long....But if Hoffman fails to file or files a low enough number to be challenged, the D Line could go dark this year and for Doheny that would be fine. Then he doesn't have to dance around the abortion issue.
Of course, if Hoffman bobbles the Conservative petitions, his prospects in the GOP are DOA as well.
I have a tenant upstairs who is a Conservative. I will have to ask him if anyone had stopped by.