|Conservative Party of New York nominee for|
U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 23rd congressional district
|Born||1953 (age 65–66)|
Saranac Lake, New York
|Political party||Conservative Party of New York|
|Alma mater||SUNY, Plattsburgh (B.S.)|
University of Connecticut (M.B.A.)
|Profession||C.P.A., tax and financial planning|
|Branch/service||New York National Guard|
United States Army Reserve
|Years of service||1970–1976|
Douglas L. Hoffman (born 1953) is an American businessman, accountant and former congressional candidate. He was the Conservative Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2009 special election for New York's 23rd congressional district. On November 3, 2009, he was defeated by Democratic candidate Bill Owens. Hoffman ran for the same seat in Congress in 2010, but lost the Republican primary and withdrew his candidacy.
Hoffman's 2009 campaign received extensive support from the Tea Party movement and gained national attention because of his success in drawing grassroots support away from Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava, who dropped out of the race before Election Day.
Early life and business career
Hoffman grew up in Saranac Lake, New York, the second of four children. He graduated from Saranac Lake High School, attended North Country Community College, then SUNY Canton. In 1973, he received his B.S. in accounting from SUNY Plattsburgh. Following graduation, Hoffman attended the University of Connecticut as a part-time student and earned a Master of Business Administration degree in 1976. He became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in 1977.
Hoffman married Carol Torrance in 1973 and moved to Hartford, Connecticut. In 1977, the couple moved to Lake Placid, New York. They have three children, Ashleah, Douglas, and Taylor, and four grandchildren. Doug and Carol reside in Saranac Lake, New York.
Hoffman served as controller for the Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee for the 1980 Winter Olympics. Hoffman stated that the Olympics created jobs and infrastructure that were still driving the area's economy 30 years later.
At the time of his 2009 congressional campaign, Hoffman served as managing partner at the Dragon Benware Crowley & Co., P.C. accounting firm, assisting small businesses and individuals with tax and other financial planning. In addition, he oversaw the Hoffman Family Enterprises which include the accounting firm, a firm to assist other firms with financial planning, mergers and acquisitions, a used car dealership, and a home builder.
2009 congressional campaign
After Republican Rep. John McHugh resigned from Congress to serve as Secretary of the Army, the Republican Party chose New York State Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava as its candidate in the ensuing special election to fill the vacated seat. On August 7, 2009, the Conservative Party of New York opted to nominate Hoffman for Congress; the Party declined to support Scozzafava, who was described by Party Chairman Michael R. Long as a "nice lady who is too liberal"; The Democratic Party chose Bill Owens as its candidate.
The race attracted attention across the country because of Hoffman's Tea Party affiliation and because of the large amount of support Hoffman received from the national conservative base, despite Hoffman's status as a third-party candidate. Hoffman described himself as a "Reagan conservative," expressing opposition to same-sex marriage, Obamacare, budget deficits, and abortion and support for the war on terror. During the campaign, Hoffman was interviewed by Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. Fiscal and social conservative groups backed Hoffman's candidacy, including the Club for Growth, the Susan B. Anthony List, the National Organization for Marriage, Concerned Women for America PAC, Citizens of the Republic, the American Conservative Union, Eagle Forum, and Family Research Council PAC. Many notable Republicans, including former Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, endorsed Hoffman rather than the Republican candidate because they deemed Scozzafava insufficiently conservative and ideologically indistinguishable from the Democrat. To illustrate this point, the Hoffman campaign ran television advertisements depicting Scozzafava and Owens as "two peas in a liberal pod."
After an October 31 poll showed Scozzafava trailing both Hoffman and Owens by 15% and 16% respectively, with her poll numbers collapsing, Scozzafava suspended her campaign on October 31 and endorsed the Democrat Bill Owens.
One commentator stated that "Hoffman's third-party candidacy is striking for how much it has galvanized the Republican Party's base." According to Marilyn Musgrave of Susan B. Anthony List, "Republican party leaders in Washington should take the message of the campaign and the election seriously, that the Party base should not be taken for granted."
2010 congressional campaign
Hoffman again ran for the House of Representatives in 2010, but was defeated in the Republican primary for New York's 23rd congressional district by Matt Doheny, a businessman and lawyer. On September 23, 2010, Hoffman announced that he would continue his campaign for the congressional seat as the Conservative Party candidate. However, on October 5, 2010, Hoffman announced that he was dropping out of the race altogether, although his name remained on the ballot. Bill Owens (D) won re-election by less than 4,000 votes, while Hoffman received 9,592 votes on the Conservative Party line. Hoffman has been referred to as a "spoiler" in the 2010 race.
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- Conservative chorus at national conference: Aren't you Doug Hoffman? | syracuse.com
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- RealClearPolitics – Interview with House Candidate Doug Hoffman
- "Doug Hoffman for Congress". Doug Hoffman for Congress. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- Palin: "there is no real difference between the Democrat and the Republican in this race." "Palin: Ready to shake things up in New York". Reuters. 2009-10-22. Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
- Hook, Janet (2009-11-03). "Conservatives emboldened by moves in New York". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- Trussell, Donna. "Down the Stretch: Three-Way Race Heats Up in New York Special Election". Politicsdaily.com. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- Seymour, Jude (October 31, 2009). "Scozzafava suspends campaign". Watertown Daily Times. Retrieved October 31, 2009.
- Madore, James T. (2009-10-31). "Under pressure, GOP assemblywoman suspends campaign". Newsday. Retrieved 2009-11-01.
- "Special election results certified". Watertown Daily Times. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- Republicans work to defeat one of their own – National – NewsObserver.com Archived October 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Musgrave to GOP: ‘Don’t just assume we’re yours’ | The Colorado Independent
- Hoffman Loses To Doheny In Primary
- Hoffman Staying In NY-23 On Row D Archived September 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Watertown Daily Times | Hoffman denies acting as 'spoiler'
- Owens, Hoffman work together on Patriot Hills – AdirondackDailyEnterprise.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Saranac Lake region — Adirondack Daily Enterprise
- "House Results Map". The New York Times.
- Hoffman out of Congress race Archived October 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Nathan Brown, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 5, 2010
- Owens retains his 23rd Congressional seat by a comfortable margin; Hoffman spoiler for GOP | NorthCountryNow