QUEENSBURY Speaking in front of over 100 members of the Warren County Republican Committee, Essex County’s Doug Hoffman made a strong pitch of how he’d be a dedicated advocate for conservative principles if sent to Albany to represent the region.
Ending his presentation, however, he stunned the audience by saying that in a spirit of G.O.P. unity, he was withdrawing his candidacy in deference to Warren County’s leading candidate, Dan Stec.
Hoffman then earned a standing ovation and the loudest applause of the night from the shocked politicians.
Then, after hearing presentations by former Glens Falls Mayor Bob Regan, Stec, and Thurman Supervisor Evelyn Wood, the committee members cast their votes for which candidate to endorse.
A “supermajority,” or at least 67 percent of the votes cast, were in favor of Stec, officially earned the endorsement of the Warren County Republican Party.
Minutes after the votes were counted, Warren County G.O.P. party chairman Mike Grasso said he would soon be asking the other candidates to step down in order to avoid a primary. Earlier he had said he and others were stunned with Hoffman’s move.
“This was a jaw-dropper,” he said.
Warrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty officially nominated Stec for the county G.O.P endorsement. Geraghty said Stec had proven as county board chairman that he had done an “excellent job” building consensus among Democrats and Republicans and was well-versed in Adirondack issues.
“Dan will be able to stand up and be counted on Adirondack Park issues, he said. “And on the county board, Dan has putting to bed the myth of upcounty versus down-county.”
In accepting the endorsement, Stec said he looked forward to the election, and praised Hoffman’s gesture.
“I welcome Doug Hoffman’s spirit of cooperation and unity,” he said. “And now I will work to unify the Republican, Conservative and Independent lines.”
Stec has received the statewide Independence Party endorsement, as well as the endorsement of the Essex and Saratoga counties Republican party organizations. Hoffman had won the endorsement of the Warren County Conservative Party.
In conclusion Stec introduced his campaign team, which includes Win Belanger and Eugene Williams of Essex County, and Andy Trombley and Patti Miller from Warren County.