NY-23: The Newt Effect
SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. — Early last night, when the mood at NY-23 Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman’s campaign headquarters was a lot lighter than it later became, campaign communications director Rob Ryan told me that there were two major inflection points in the race. The first was when the Club for Growth endorsed Hoffman.
“We were like a car on Route 3 in the middle of nowhere with a little bit of gas,” said Ryan. “And they came along and filled up the tank.”
But Ryan said there was a bigger factor in the Hoffman campaign’s rise from gadfly campaign to almost-giant-killer. “The Club for Growth made us real. The thing that changed everything was Newt Gingrich endorsing Dede [Scozzafava, the GOP candidate]. That’s what got the anger of the Republicans up. Up to then, this wasn’t a big deal. That got the anger. That’s when we saw the donations really come in.”