Palin Bucks GOP, Backs Conservative

Race for NY House seat turns into battle for soul of the right
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2009 6:01 AM CDT
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in Toledo, Ohio, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008.    (AP Photo/Madalyn Ruggiero)
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(Newser) – Sarah Palin has bucked the GOP to endorse a third-party challenger in a closely-watched House special election. In the race for the upstate New York seat, Palin has joined Fred Thompson and Dick Armey in endorsing the candidate for the Conservative Party, Doug Hoffman, over a Republican nominee, Dede Scozzafava, who is pro-choice and supports gay rights. "There is no real difference between the Democrat and the Republican in this race," the former governor wrote on her Facebook page.

GOP leaders see Scozzafava as a pragmatic choice for the seat vacated by John McHugh, a Republican whom President Obama nominated to be secretary of the Army. "We have to decide which business we are in," Scozzafava backer Newt Gingrich wrote yesterday. "If we are in the business about feeling good about ourselves while our country gets crushed then I probably made the wrong decision."  The schism may open the way for the Democratic candidate to win the race, Andrew Malcolm writes in the Los Angeles Times.
(Read more Sarah Palin stories.)