Sessions: Open Candidate Selection Process in N.Y.

Posted November 4, 2009 at 12:05am

On the heels of the GOP’s second special election loss in New York this year, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) said Wednesday morning that Empire State Republicans need to adopt a more open candidate selection process.

“After two special elections in New York, there is no doubt in my mind that the candidate selection process lacks openness and transparency and should be changed to a primary system so voters can have a say in who their respective parties nominate,— Sessions said in a statement.

Sessions’ comments were in reaction to Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman’s loss Tuesday to attorney Bill Owens (D) in the upstate 23rd district.

The NRCC and House leaders moved to embrace Hoffman as the GOP standard bearer this past weekend, after state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R) abruptly dropped her bid. Scozzafava, considered a moderate-to-liberal Republican, had been selected as the party’s nominee by the 11 county GOP chairmen in the sprawling district with little input from national party leaders.

The special election loss in New York robbed national Republicans of a complete sweep of the most-watched elections Tuesday. In his statement, Sessions argued the New York race was an anomaly and that the trends in New Jersey and Virginia showed troubling signs for Democrats next year.

“The election in New York may provide a momentary victory for Democrats, but the results in two gubernatorial contests tell us more about what 2010 holds in store for the party in power,— he said. “Despite the unusual circumstances in this race, if we have learned anything from these across-the-board results it is that independent voters are dissatisfied with the direction that Democrats are taking this country and moving away from them at a rapid pace.—