ALBANY—One of Congressional candidate Dede Scozzafava's colleagues on the other side of the aisle in the Assembly is defending her political "courage."
"She has been an outstanding assembly member," said Danny O'Donnell, a Manhattan Democrat. "She gets along with everybody, she is somebody who is not strident on issues and has shown flexibility on issues. She is someone who appeals to independent-minded voters, and I think she has a strong potential to become a congresswoman."
O'Donnell, who is openly gay, said that he particularly admires Scozzafava for having the courage to vote for a bill he sponsored legalizing same-sex marriage, both earlier this year and in 2007.
"She was somebody who listened to her constituents. Constituents came to her and made the case," O'Donnell said. "Dede Scozzafava didn't have a support system. Her party didn't want her to take that position. So I nominated her for a John F. Kennedy Courage Award. She didn't get it."
The votes in favor of same-sex marriage are being used by Conservatives to attack Scozzafava. Her Democratic opponent, Bill Owens, said he favors civil unions over same-sex marriage because of its religious connotation.
Scozzafava remains at a Syracuse hospital alongside her 83-year-old father, William Scozzafava, who is convalescing from triple bypass surgery.