Retiring Rep. Owens says Gouverneur's Scozzafava would make 'excellent candidate' to replace him in Congress
By JIMMY LAWTON
POTSDAM -- Rep. Bill Owens says Dede Scozzafava would make an “excellent candidate” for New York’s 21st District, should she choose to run.
In a brief press meeting at the Potsdam Town Hall earlier today, the congressman said Scozzafava, who served as mayor of Gouverneur and in the New York State Assembly, would be a good fit for the constituents of the North County.In 2009, Scozzafava ran against Owens as a Republican, but dropped out of the race after Tea Party candidate Douglas Hoffman gained support from the Republican party.
A day after dropping out of the race, Scozzafava endorsed Owens, who was elected to office.
She was appointed to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s staff in 2011 and now serves as deputy secretary for local government.
Owens said he does not think his resignation will hurt the Democratic Party’s chance of retaining the NY 21 District. He said he was a surprise candidate when he won the seat and that a new “surprise” will likely emerge.
He said any candidate hoping to win the district would need votes from Independents, Democrats and Republicans to get elected.
“This district is filled with Rockefeller Republicans and Reagan Democrats,” he said, adding that “ideologues” don’t stand much of a chance.
While Owens said Scozzafava would be a good candidate he said he was still waiting to see who the Democratic Party chooses to endorse.
In conference call held earlier today, Democratic leaders said they would like to avoid a primary race and would rather interview interested candidates and endorse one person to represent Democrats in the election in November.