PLATTSBURGH - Candidate Doug Hoffman has withdrawn from the race for New York's 23rd Congressional district and has thrown his support behind primary winner Matt Doheny.
In a statement issued Tuesday morning, Hoffman said it was never his intent to split the Republican vote in November and said the GOP needs to unite in its effort to gain control of Congress.
While it is too late to have his name removed from the ballot on the Conservative Party Line, Hoffman is urging his supporters to vote for Doheny.
"It was never my intention to split the Republican vote in the 23rd District. So today, I withdraw as a candidate from this race. Under New York State Election Law my name cannot be removed from the Conservative Party line on the ballot. However, I strongly urge and request that my supporters not vote for me and certainly not vote for the Democrat or Working Families Party candidate," Hoffman said.
"Matt Doheny and I may have differed on some issues during the course of our primary race. Now, we must put those differences aside and do what is best for our nation. So today, I am asking all my supporters to cast their vote for Matt Doheny on Election Day, November 2nd," he said.
Hoffman, a Saranac Lake-based accounting firm owner, had pledged to stay in the race on the Conservative Party line after narrowly losing to Watertown investor Matt Doheny in the Sept. 23 Republican primary.
Doheny will now face incumbent Democrat Bill Owens, a Plattsburgh attorney, in the general election Nov. 2.
Doheny also picked up a key endorsement last week from Mark L. Barie, chairman of the Upstate New York TEA Party (UNYTEA). Doheny conceded a lack of votes in Clinton, Essex, and Franklin counties, and suggested UNYTEA's early endorsement of Hoffman may have led to his lack of support in those counties.
"Matt Doheny is the kind of fiscal conservative we must to send to Washington," Barie said. "And when he says he can beat Bill Owens on November 2, I believe him - and I intend to help him."