Palin ‘Going Rogue’ in Upstate New York

By MichaelJames

Oct 22, 2009 10:33pm

ABC News' Teddy Davis reports: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin used her Facebook page on Thursday to endorse Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman over Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava in the special election for New York’s 23rd congressional district. “Political parties must stand for something,” wrote Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. “[T]he Republican Party today has decided to choose a candidate who more than blurs the lines, and there is no real difference between the Democrat and the Republican in this race. That is why Doug Hoffman is running on the Conservative Party’s ticket.” The New York race is a microcosm of the dilemma faced by parties out of power: How much purity should you insist on from your members? The Republican that Palin has passed over supports abortion rights, same-sex marriage and legislation that would make union organizing easier.  In backing the Conservative Party candidate, Palin finds herself in the company of many TEA party activists, plus former House Republican Leader Dick Armey of Texas. "We win when we are us. We lose when we are Democrat lite," Armey recently told the conservative RedState blog. On the other side of the divide is Newt Gingrich. The former House speaker recently threw his weight to Scozzafava. After he took heat from some conservatives for his decision, Gingrich wrote: “The choice in New York is a practical one: We can split the conservative vote and guarantee the election of a Democrat in a Republican seat in a substantial loss of opportunity. Or we can find a way to elect someone who has committed to vote for the Republican leader, has committed to vote against all tax increases, has committed to vote against cap-and-trade, and is a strong ally of the NRA.” The Democratic candidate in the race is lawyer Bill Owens. The trio is vying for now-Army Secretary John McHugh's vacant seat. The election is taking place Nov. 3. ABC News’ Rick Klein contributed to this report.

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