N.Y. 23 Hopeful Starts With a $500,000 Loan

Posted July 15, 2009 at 3:22pm

Attorney Matthew Doheny is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to his interest in New York’s soon-to-be-vacant 23rd District seat. A fundraising report filed Wednesday shows that Doheny, a Republican, has already opened a campaign committee and loaned it $500,000 from his own pocket, despite the fact that the party hasn’t even settled on a nominee for the special election.

Local party chairs are currently interviewing prospective candidates for the seat, which will be opened up when Republican Rep. John M. McHugh is confirmed as secretary of the Army. His nomination was sent to the Senate July 6. The race to succeed him is expected to be highly competitive.

There are no primaries for special elections in New York, leaving the job for picking each parties’ nominee to the district’s county chairmen. Doheny is one of nine Republicans being vetted by the district’s GOP leaders, and fundraising — or self-funding — capabilities are no doubt one of the considerations.

The buzz among local observers, however, is that state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava is the one to beat. The Watertown Daily Times reported earlier this month that Scozzafava has also gotten a jump on the money race, hiring a fundraising chairman.