Tuesday, October 20, 2009

House Republicans May Face Civil War - Conservatives vs Republican Establishment

House Republicans may face a ‘civil war’ over Scozzafava bid

The House GOP conference is bitterly divided over a centrist New York Republican’s run for the House seat vacated by Army Secretary John McHugh.

Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, who backs abortion rights and has voiced support for gay rights, has drawn a challenger from the right who is running on the Conservative Party line. And though House leaders have urged conference members to donate, many have pointedly refused to back Scozzafava

The Club for Growth, Concerned Women of America, former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) and evangelical leader Gary Bauer have all endorsed Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate.

The divide could foreshadow bigger troubles ahead for a party that hopes to make big gains in the House in 2010 and dreams of taking back the majority. Some members think that will be impossible as long as the party is divided over supporting centrist candidates.

“The Hoffman campaign is a real revolt against the Republican establishment and leadership, not just in New York but nationally,” said a conservative GOP congressman, adding that Scozzafava’s candidacy “could set off a civil war inside the Republican Party.”

Just 17 members — about 10 percent of the GOP conference — have written checks to Scozzafava’s campaign. They include House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is in charge of recruiting candidates to run next year.

Notably absent from that list is Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), the Republican Conference chairman. Pence, the former chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, has refused to endorse Scozzafava.

For rest of article, see this link: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/63163-house-gop-may-face-a-civil-war-over-scozzafava

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