GOP celebs stump for Hoffman

Call it the Tennessee Two-Step: Fred Thompson and country star John Rich, both high-profile Republican entertainers and Nashville residents, have thrown their combined political weight behind Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in Tuesday’s dramatic election for the House seat in New York’s 23rd district.

Thompson, an actor and former senator from Tennessee, sported a hip new goatee and mustache in the early endorsement ad he made for Hoffman. Thompson sources declined to comment about his new look, but the 2008 presidential hopeful was clearly ahead of the curve politically: This past weekend Hoffman forced the GOP’s official candidate, Dede Scozzafava, to drop out of the race less than three days before Tuesday’s election.

Rich, one-half of the platinum-selling country duo Big and Rich (“Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy”), traveled from Nashville to New York state on Monday to campaign for Hoffman. Rich also put some of his cash behind the conservative candidate: He and his wife, Joan, contributed $5,000 to Hoffman’s campaign, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Rich is a regular supporter of Republican causes. During the 2008 presidential election, after briefly supporting Thompson in the primary, Rich wrote the anthem "Raising McCain" for GOP candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and performed at the Republican National Convention.