NY GOP mulls removing Dede from top post

by Andy Barr

Dede Scozzafava, the Republican nominee who issued an election eve endorsement of Democrat Bill Owens in the Nov. 3 New York special election, will meet with Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb Monday to discuss whether she will be stripped of her assembly leadership position.

POLITICO has learned that Kolb will announce after the face-to-face meeting whether Scozzafava, the Minority Leader Pro Tempore, will remain as the GOP floor leader.

“Fundamentally my members are very disappointed with her endorsement of Bill Owens and aiding him in helping achieve the Nancy Pelosi health care plan in Washington,” Kolb said…

…“They’ll remove her from her position and she’ll cry that they picked on poor little Dede and go switch parties and claim it’s all our fault,” said [Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman Donald] Coon. “She made a decision on Sunday, and now she’s going to have to live with the consequences of that.”

Republicans who spoke to Scozzafava immediately before and after her decision to endorse Owens described her as being under immense pressure from local and national political forces, including the White House.

State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox said that when he spoke to Scozzafava soon after she dropped out of the race Saturday “she was sobbing over the phone.”

“It was a difficult decision obviously and she was very concerned over losing her Assembly seat. I tried to assure her that that wouldn’t happen,” he said, speculating that Democrats may have been offering her protection if she endorsed Owens.

“Without talking to her great political friends, without contacting me and influenced by her husband who is the head of the central labor council up there, she decided to support the Democratic candidate, which was a betrayal of everything she said she was,” Cox added. “She had assured my every step of the way that she was a solid Republican.”

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