Hoffman, 59, is the managing partner of Dragon, Benware, Crowley & Co., an accounting firm with offices throughout the North Country. He had originally run as a Republican, but sought the Conservative nod after GOP leaders chose Scozzafava. He was chosen Aug. 6 by a committee of party chairs.
"I have not left the Republican Party," Hoffman said at an Aug 5. press conference in Plattsburgh. "The Republican Party has left me and has turned its back on the voters of the 23rd Congressional District and on the values that made our party strong."
Hoffman said his more socially conservative views better reflect the moral fiber of North Country voters, and that Scozzafava is too willing to allow government spending.
"I am a fiscal conservative who believes that our government leaders are spending money we don't have," he said. "Ms. Scozzafava may say she is a fiscal conservative, but her record in Albany says otherwise."
Though he has never been an elected official, Hoffman said his experience as a business owner and former board member of the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation speaks to his ability to create jobs.
The field of candidates expanded once more on Aug. 10 when Democratic party chairs decided on Plattsburgh lawyer Bill Owens as their candidate.
Owens, 60, is an attorney with Stafford, Owens, Pillar, Murnane & Trombley PLLC in Plattsburgh. He is a veteran of the Air Force and has had a hand in forming the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation (PARC).
"I've devoted my career to serving our country and helping create jobs in New York State," Owens said. "I am running for Congress to use my experience to get our local economy moving again and create good paying jobs."
Owens said he was proud to have the support of Democratic party leaders, who called him "an effective, independent voice for our priorities."