Republicans received a boost to their prospects of holding to Rep. John McHugh’s Congressional seat after the state’s Independence Party endorsed their nominee, state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava.
"In polling our state executive committee this morning, I can say with certainty that we will support our local leaders in the 23rd Congressional District and today we throw the support of the Independence Party behind Assemblywoman Scozzafava," Independence Party chairman Frank MacKay said in a statement.
The Independence party is the leading third party in the district – with 19,619 registered voters – and has a history of supporting both Democratic and Republican candidates for office. It endorsed Democrat Scott Murphy in this year’s special election in the neighboring 20th District, and the party’s voters gave him his margin of victory.
Democrats still haven’t chosen a candidate, though attorney Brian McGrath, who has the ability to partially self-finance the race, has gotten attention from national Democratic party operatives.
Former federal prosecutor Daniel French and former Oswego mayor John Sullivan, Jr. are also considered leading candidates for the nomination.