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Doug Hoffman Blames ACORN for Stealing Election

(CBS/ AP)
The Conservative Party candidate who conceded a closely-watched upstate New York House race has formally repudiated that concession in a statement that suggests community-organizing group ACORN stole the election for his Democratic opponent.

Doug Hoffman first suggested he was "unconceding" earlier this week on Glenn Beck's radio show.

"Recent developments leave me to wonder who is scheming behind closed doors, twisting arms and stealing elections from the voters of NY-23," he writes in a message on his Web site titled "Stop Another Stolen Election." "I'm sure you are as dismayed as I am to learn of the mischief that took place in Oswego and neighboring counties. We know this would not be the first time for the ACORN faithful to tamper with democracy."

"ACORN and the unions did their best to try and sway the results to Obamacare supporter Bill Owens," he adds. Hoffman goes on to request donations to help force officials to keep a recanvassing effort going that he suggests will show he was the true winner of the contest.

Hoffman offers no specific evidence of malfeasance by ACORN, and a call to his spokesman, Rob Ryan, was not returned.

A routine recanvassing following the election found that Owens' victory over Hoffman had narrowed to 3,026 votes, with a greater number of absentee ballots still outstanding.

It is "mathematically possible" that Hoffman actually won the election, though it is not likely, according to the Watertown Daily Times.

Owens was sworn into Congress earlier this month, and he voted in favor of the health care reform bill that narrowly passed the House. He would reportedly be removed from office should the final tally show a Hoffman victory.

The apparent loss by Hoffman, a favorite of conservative Tea Party activists, came after Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava withdrew from the race amid anger over her moderate positions on certain issues. The victory by Owens, who was endorsed by Scozzafava, was seen by some as a rebuke to the conservative activists and their allies.

Noting that NY-23 has until now been a reliably-Republican district, critics – including some Republicans – suggested Hoffman supporters were more interested in fielding candidates who hewed strictly to their point of view than actually winning elections.

"The people of NY-23 deserve to have their ballots counted properly, but we can't let ACORN or the unions keep that from happening. They have more lawyers and more experience tampering with democracy," writes Hoffman.

"We need to make sure that fair elections are a reality in NY-23, just like our Founding Fathers envisioned," he concludes. "So long as we remain the "land of the free," we MUST ensure every vote is counted. Help us today so we may be the first of many conservative victories during the Obama Regime."