GOP DUST-UP

Scozzafava Endorses Democrat Owens

The drama within the GOP is heating up. After resigning from New York's 23rd District special election race yesterday, Republican State Senator Dede Scozzafava has announced her endorsement of Democrat Bill Owens for the House seat. "In Bill Owens, I see a sense of duty and integrity that will guide him beyond political partisanship. He will be an independent voice devoted to doing what is right for New York," Scozzafava said in a statement. The remaining Republican standing in the two-way race is Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, who has received backing from Sarah Palin and Fred Thompson. Political analysts and pollsters are scrambling to predict what this means for the 20 percent of voter support, Scozzafava—a moderate to liberal Republican—held. "When we try to parse the Scozzafava voters, they mostly look like a toss-up, with at most a sliver of extra support for Owens," said one political analyst. Democrats are capitalizing on the stir-up within the Republican Party to point out that it's stifling moderate voices and being "taken captive by its right wing."