CHESTERTOWN—Mike Long doesn't know Bill Owens, but the Conservative Party chairman says he's "glad" to see a Democratic candidate with Owens's centrist positions in the upcoming race to replace John McHugh in Congress.
"I believe both candidates are going to campaign on the conservative side of things, because it is a conservative district, and they're going to try to out-conservative Doug Hoffman," Long said of the accountant his party is backing in the race. "Certainly, Dede is clearly the most liberal, and if Owens is somewhat conservative that's fine with me."
Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate, has voted to legalize same-sex marriage, and is pro-choice. (As is Owens.) Scozzafava's position on health care restructuring wending its way through Congress is unknown.
Long said he thought the right-ward tacking is occurring "because of Doug Hoffman." He said he is "glad to see that he is for the sanctity of marriage, and the other issue, I'm clearly glad to see that he's against the president's plan for basically socialized healthcare."
Hoffman, according to Long, is the "one bona fide conservative Republican in the race that reflects the views of John McHugh and the district."