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Posted by on Nov 17, 2009 in Politics | 27 comments

Hoffman “Unconceeds” In NY 23 Race As Loss Margin Narrows

You’ve heard of a concession speech? Now there’s an unconcession:

Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the special NY 23 election, has withdrawn his concession.

Hoffman, who jumped in the race in response to the “liberal” positions of the Republican Party candidate, state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava — a decision that ultimately forced Scozzafava out of the race — conceded to Democrat Bill Owens on election night. At the time, Hoffman trailed Owens by about 5,000 votes. (Owens was quickly sworn in, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dearly needed his presence for the Nov. 7 vote on health care.)

By winning the seat vacated by now-Army Secretary John McHugh, Owens became the first Democrat to represent the area in upstate New York in more than 100 years.

End of story? Hardly. After some tabulating errors were discovered, Owens’ lead over Hoffman shrunk to 3,026 votes. But there are as many as 10,000 oustanding absentee and paper ballots that only today will begin to be counted. (And that number could be far less; 10,000 absentee ballots were requested … we don’t know exactly how many were returned.) Hoffman “unconceded” today on Glenn Beck’s national radio show.

And so yet another race will end (or go on and on?) in acrimony. And another major political news story has the name “Glenn Beck” in it. CNN reports that Hoffman’s aides are downplaying the “unconcession”:

But a spokesman for Hoffman downplayed the conservative’s “un-concession” Tuesday. “All that really matters is the actual count which is ongoing,” said

In the interview with Beck, Hoffman acknowledged he would have to win more than 65 percent of the uncounted absentees to make up the difference – a hurdle that is unlikely to be cleared given most of those ballots were cast before the Republican in the race, Dede Scozzafava, withdrew.

The review of roughly 7,400 remaining absentee ballots is slated to begin Tuesday.