Hoffman decision on election challenge this weekend

Victory's out of reach for now, but the conservative candidate may try to overturn the results

Published November 20, 2009 9:41PM (EST)

Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate who lost a close race in a special election for an upstate New York Congressional seat earlier this month, has already retracted the concession he made on election night. Now, though, he has to decide whether he'll try to challenge Democrat Bill Owens' win in court.

A spokesman for Hoffman, Rob Ryan, says Hoffman will be making that decision "over the weekend," according to CQ Politics' Emily Cadei.

Over the past two days, after Hoffman officially unconceded, victory in the current count has become mathematically impossible for him. The third-party candidate had hoped to gain on Owens during the tally of absentee ballots, but as the count stands now, it's actually Owens who's picked up a net of 61 votes during the process.

There was some measure of hope for Hoffman's supporters on Thursday, though, due to a report in a local publication that a virus had affected voting machines. An election watchdog has debunked that claim, however.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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