Elizabethtown Essex County Republicans delivered a decisive blow to the state Assembly hopes of Lake Placid’s Doug Hoffman on March 21, when the county GOP committee threw its weight behind Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec in the upcoming race for the seat currently held by Teresa Sayward, who is retiring.
Hoffman later dropped out of the campaign, despite the fact that he was recently endorsed by the Warren County Conservative Party. Warren County’s GOP committee threw its support behind Stec the day after the Essex County ballot.
Stec out-polled Hoffman 6419.5 to 4072.5 in the Essex County committee’s weighted vote. Former Glens Falls Mayor Bob Regan and first-term Thurman Town Supervisor Evelyn Wood also sought the committee’s endorsement for the seat. Regan received 290.5 votes. Wood, the youngest of the candidates by a significant margin, came up empty in the balloting.
Thurman, Queensbury and Glens Falls are in Warren County. The State Assembly district represented by Sayward comprises Essex and Warren counties and slices of Saratoga and Washington counties.
Hoffman told the committee that he was the candidate best able to unite the Conservative and Republican parties, but his history of bucking the GOP and throwing his hat in the ring as a Conservative troubled committee members.
Hoffman was the Conservative Party nominee in the 2009 special election won by Congressman Bill Owens and appeared on the Conservative line in the 2010 election for Owens’s seat. Though he withdrew from that race, his name remained on the ballot and he received some 10,000 votes in an election in which Owens prevailed over Republican Matt Doheny by less than 4,000 votes.
All four candidates spoke at the meeting and answered questions from committee members.
“I’m here tonight to ask for your vote, because it’s very important that we keep this seat in Essex County,” Hoffman said. “I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve dealt with the APA. We’re handicapped here by regulations, we’re handicapped by the environmentalists, and they’re trying to squeeze us out of surviving here. We need to restrict not-for-profits that are grabbing up our land and taking it off our tax rolls, making it even more difficult to live here. The number one problem is jobs and the economy. Just making a living up here is very, very difficult.”