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Doug Hoffman "Unconcedes" House Race

Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman (left) has "unconceded" the closely-watched N.Y. 23 House race, which he had previously thought he had lost to Democratic candidate Bill Owens, The Hill reports.

Hoffman, a favorite of the tea party movement, conceded on election night amid returns that showed he was down by more than 5,000 votes. But as the Associated Press reported on Friday, a "routine recanvassing of votes shows Owens' lead has narrowed to 3,026 votes, with about 5,800 absentee ballots received so far that have yet to be counted."

Hoffman announced his unconcession on Glenn Beck's radio show this afternoon.

"…if I knew this information at the election night, I would not have conceded," he reportedly told Beck.

Owens (left) 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. That outcome is unlikely, but not impossible.

Hoffman's apparent loss, which came after Republican Dede Scozzafava withdrew from the race amid anger over her moderate positions on certain issues, was seen by some as a rebuke to the tea party activists and their allies.

Noting that N.Y. 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.

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