ALBANY—Now that Dede Scozzafava is out of the race to replace John McHugh in Congress, the New York chapter of the National Organization of Women has put out a statement saying that what happened to her was “a setback for the women, especially Republican women–and moderates in general.”
Marcia Pappas, the organization’s president, said Sunday that “sources inside the Republican party report that Scozzafava was drummed out by the ole boys’ club.”
“In conclusion, NOW-NYS salutes Scozzafava, and hopes that at some time in the future she will find the wherewith to rejoin the fray,” Pappas wrote. “She is indeed a breath of fresh air in the present-day anti-woman, anti-choice Republican Party.”
M. Tracey Brooks, the president of Planned Parenthood in New York said the organization is “saddened” by Scozzafava’s withdrawal. She was endorsed by the group.
“Dede has consistently and courageously stood up for the health and rights of women and their families,” Brooks said. “It is extremely unfortunate that the people of the 23rd Congressional District will not have the opportunity to be represented by a leader who has a proven track record of putting the needs of her community above all else.”
While NARAL sent mailers on Scozzafava’s behalf, neither NOW or Planned Parenthood did much on her behalf when she was still a candidate, to the chagrin of some. NOW didn’t formally endorse her. I asked Pappas about this earlier in the week, and she said Scozzafava never reached out.
“Sometimes the Republican women are a little hesitant about reaching out to womens groups because they will be frowned upon by their own party,” Pappas said. “Their party is ruled by the old boys club, and conservatives have a stronghold on their party right now. They have to be politically savvy. That’s not just for female candidates, that’s for male candidates too. We don’t see many Republican candidates at all coming for our support.”
“Certainly if she is progressive on the issues, we would hope she would reach out to us. And we would have absolutely, ABSOLUTELY, no problem endorsing a Republican if she supports us on the progressive issues we support,” Pappas added.