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      Waiting for absentee ballots in 23rd Congressional District race

      Matt Doheny

      The candidates hoping to get the Republican nomination in the 23rd Congressional District race are waiting for official results. About 600 votes separate Matt Doheny and Doug Hoffman, and more than 1,000 absentee ballots still need to be counted.

      Doheny is in the lead, and he says he feels pretty good.

      "Right now we're running against Bill Owens," says Doheny. "We certainly want to make sure every vote gets counted in the ordinary process, but right now, in terms of the differential amount my opponent would have to make up, we're quite optimistic and comfortable."

      Hoffman says he's not giving up yet. A statement from his campaign says, "This is still a fluid race. Thousands of absentee and military ballots remain to be counted. There is no clear victor, and I would be doing a disservice to my supporters, men and women in uniform, and the voters if I did not wait for all votes to be properly counted."

      No matter what, Hoffman's name will still be on the ballot under the Conservative Party line. However, the Hoffman campaign was dealt another blow on Wednesday. The chairman of the Upstate New York Tea Party, or UNYTEA, an organization that had publicly backed Hoffman in the past, criticized his campaign.

      "I am very disappointed with the way in which the Hoffman campaign was conducted," says UNYTEA chairman Mark Barie in a statement. "It was unorganized, it lacked focus, and it failed to take advantage of Doug's tremendous popularity."

      Doheny says he would be open to support from UNYTEA.

      The Republican nominee will be running against Congressman Bill Owens (D) in November.