Republican in NY House race suspends campaign

Fighting plunging support, Republican Dierdre Scozzafava abruptly suspended her campaign Saturday in the 23rd Congressional District special election that has exposed a rift among national factions of the party.

Campaign spokesman Matt Burns said Scozzafava thinks stepping aside is for the best of the party. He said Scozzafava is essentially withdrawing from the race, although her name will remain on Tuesday’s ballot.

“It is increasingly clear that pressure is mounting on many of my supporters to shift their support,” Scozzafava said in a written statement. “Consequently, I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit.”

The announcement comes after a Siena College poll found she was in third place with 20 percent of the vote in the heavily Republican district that has been safe ground for the party for more than 100 years. Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman and Democratic nominee Bill Owens were too close to call with 35 percent and 36 percent, respectively.

AP