Republican Congressional candidate Matt Doheny of Watertown is inviting challenger Doug Hoffman of Saranac Lake to a series of debates in each county of the 23rd Congressional District before the Sept. 14 Republican primary.
"This is a critical election year," Doheny wrote to Hoffman in a letter sent today. "Republicans, indeed all the people in the North Country, the Adirondack Region and Central New York deserve to hear from both of us as we discuss and debate the issues, so they can make the best decision on Election Day."
Hoffman, who received significant out-of-area funding to mount his conservative campaign last fall to replace John McHugh, ended up being the “spoiler” in the race. Democrat Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, won the contest in the traditionally Republican district after Deidre Scozzafava, R-Gouverneur, dropped out at the last minute and endorsed Owens.
Doheny, who describes himself as a businessman and conservative lifelong Republican, has won the backing of all nine of the 11 Republican county committees endorsing in the race.
The 23rd Congressional District includes all or parts of St. Lawrence, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida and Oswego counties.
Doheny's letter to Hoffman – e-mailed to his office and sent certified mail today – follows:
It's almost the Fourth of July, a time to celebrate our great nation's freedom and independence.
During this special holiday, it is important for each and every one of us to recall that our founding fathers stood for individual freedom and limited government. Today, they could not have imagined that our out-of-control government would spend our nation into trillions of dollars of debt and nearly bankrupt the future for the next generation of Americans.
This is a critical election year.
With only 10 weeks remaining until the September 14th primary, I'd like to invite you to join me in a series of debates in each of the 11 counties of New York's 23rd Congressional District. Republicans, indeed all the people in the North Country, the Adirondack Region and Central New York deserve to hear from both of us as we discuss and debate the issues, so they can make the best decision on Election Day.
As the Fourth of July approaches, please join to me in agreeing to make your participation a top priority. I strongly believe we should debate in each of the 11 counties -- driving back and forth across the nearly 15,000-square-mile district has confirmed to me that we need to make it as easy as possible for all district residents to attend at least one debate.
These 11 events will take precedence above any others on my calendar between now and the primary, and I will make myself available to fit your schedule be it morning, noon or night.
My team and I look forward to working with you and your team in the coming days to determine a debate schedule with the appropriate debate format that will best allow the voters of this great district to learn how each of us would fight for them in Washington.