Pawlenty bucks GOP, backs candidate from Conservative Party

  • Updated: October 26, 2009 - 8:32 PM

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty waded into the politics of a New York special election for the U.S. House Monday by endorsing a Conservative Party candidate over the Republican candidate.

In a statement endorsing Conservatives' Doug Hoffman over GOP Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, Pawlenty said, "We cannot send more politicians to Washington who wear the Republican jersey on the campaign trail, but then vote like Democrats in Congress."

The New York race has caused schisms within the party, with high-profile Republican forces aligning on both sides.

Pawlenty's involvement in the election far from Minnesota's borders comes as the governor, who is not running for a third term, has been traveling the country and appearing to lay the groundwork for a 2012 presidential bid.

RACHEL E. STASSEN-BERGER

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