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Republicans flock to Conservative shindig

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The three people who are closest to getting in the race for the Republican and Conservative nominations in November's congressional election attended the Conservative Party Political Action Conference in Albany over the weekend.
Matt Doheny, a businessman of Watertown who never really stopped campaigning after his 2010 loss to Democratic Rep. Bill Owens, was a sponsor of the event and got a shout-out from Chairman Mike Long, I'm told.
Kellie Greene, a Sackets Harbor resident and Oswego County native who spent time in Arizona in between, was also there. She's holding her campaign kickoff tonight. She chatted up a few of the Conservative Party chairmen when she was there.
And Doug Hoffman was there, too.
Mr. Hoffman is perhaps the most intriguing candidate. His official answer is pretty close to the answer that he's giving Conservative Party activists when they ask whether he's getting in the race: He has to see what redistricting will mean for his Lake Placid home. If he lives within the district, he's much more likely to run.
"I don’t see any progress in Albany as to where they’re going to draw the magic lines," Mr. Hoffman told me.
Mr. Hoffman insisted that he could run a successful primary campaign starting in April or May, even though he hasn't been campaigning actively, when the primary is scheduled for June 26.
"I don’t know if that’s official or not, but it certainly compresses the cycle, and makes it even more difficult without knowing who’s in what district, and where they are going to end up," Mr. Hoffman said.
Mr. Hoffman has attended a few other political events, in an attempt to keep the wheels in motion and to keep his supporters active.
But his campaign still has about $100,000 in debt. He's still paying his former staffers.
Mr. Hoffman received a $5,000 donation from the Every Republican Is Crucial political action committee in October. That's the leadership PAC belonging House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Republican of Virginia.
Help to pay of campaign debts, perhaps? Or a sign of an incipient race?
"All I can say is I’m very appreciative," Mr. Hoffman said.

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