Sex scandals sometimes seem like the common cold of New York politics, and another possible one may have emerged last night when Gawker published photos of highly-touted congressional candidate Matt Doheny sitting awfully friendly with a female companion and possibly kissing her.
Mr. Doheny, who’s running against North Country Democratic Congressman Bill Owens, forcefully rejected the claims. In a statement released by the campaign, Mr. Doheny’s fiancée said, “This is a very special time in our lives. I am deeply saddened at the state of journalism and politics that a so-called ‘news’ source would run a picture so out of context.”
If Gawker’s story has staying power, it will be reminiscent of the last scandal the publication uncovered in Upstate New York, where photos indicated Congressman Chris Lee was likely stepping outside of his marriage and ultimately caused him to resign.
There are many differences between the two stories, of course. Mr. Lee resigned facing much more damning photographic evidence — photos of him shirtless on Craigslist — and with more uncomfortable revelations possibly on the way.
Mr. Doheny’s campaign is vowing to plow on, and they are still very likely to capture the Republican nomination, helped by the lack of a wide window for anyone else to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot before the April 16th deadline.
Further entrenching Mr. Doheny’s status, he’s been endorsed by every county Republican Party in the district, along with the State Independence and Conservative parties, and it’s hard to see enough establishment support fleeing away from the candidate without significantly more revelations.
(There is one other Republican candidate in the race, Kellie Greene, but it’s unclear how much of a threat to Mr. Doheny she poses.)