ALBANY—He ran for Congress as an outsider, the non-politician who was fed up with the course of government. It shouldn’t be too surprising that he’s never been to the State Capitol.
I found Doug Hoffman gawking at the chamber’s ornate ceiling, indulging what he monotonically insisted is a deep passion for architecture, chatting with his wife Carol and the Rev. Jason McGuire, the lobbyist here who opposes same-sex marriage on behalf of a group called New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms. McGuire was a paid consultant to Hoffman during his recent failed congressional bid, and today served as an impromptu tour guide.
I asked Hoffman if he was going to meet with Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava while he was here. Or Jim Tedisco or Brian Kolb, for that matter. Or if he was going to lobby for same-sex marriage; his candidacy has spooked many Republicans in the State Senate who might have thought of voting for it, as McGuire delights in telling people.
“No, this really was impromptu,” Hoffman said, as effusive as ever. I asked him what message his candidacy sent to Republicans, and if he would run again.
“Well, I said all along that I was fighting for the soul of the Republican Party, and I think that I accomplished that. I think that we got the message out there that if we’re going to have values and ideals, that candidates should reflect those values and ideals,” Hoffman replied.