The head of Republican Senate campaign efforts said late Monday that
GOPers in New York's 23rd district "[paid] the price" for picking a
nominee in a hotly contested special election behind closed doors.
Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas)
criticized the process under which the local Republican Party chose
state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzaafava (R-N.Y.) as their nominee in a
contest to replace former Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.) McHugh previously
stepped down to become Army Secretary.
The senator tweeted last night about the election tomorrow:
NY23 deny primary voters a choice, pay the price
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), Cornyn's House counterparts, and the Republican National Committee originally backed Scozzafava, donating thousands of dollars to her campaign. The national groups faced backlash from grassroots conservatives for their endorsements.
Both groups now back Hoffman while Scozzafava has endorsed the Democratic candidate Bill Owens. The RNC today launched a radio ad in the upstate New York district supporting Hoffman.
NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh said on Monday that Cornyn's tweet was directed at the local party and not at the NRCC or RNC.
"They simply backed the nominee that was chosen by the leadership in the state," he said. "[The tweet was] more targeted toward the closed door system they had up there. It is a reminder that we need to have open primaries."
Scozzafava was chosen by a panel of local Republican officials, not a primary voters.
Republican Governors Association chairman Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) made comments similar to Cornyn yesterday.
Cross-posted to the Briefing Room