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Scozzafava making Democratic guest lists

TIMES STAFF WRITER
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When Democratic bigwigs come to town, Republican candidate for the 23rd Congressional District Assemblywoman Deirdre K. Scozzafava is increasingly making the invitation list.


On Friday, Ms. Scozzafava, R-Gouverneur, found herself face to face with at least six other politicians and community leaders in Fulton during an economic development roundtable meeting organized, and attended by, U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y.


"Dede appreciated the opportunity to join the senator to discuss Dede's top priority: How to bring more jobs to upstate New York," said Matthew A. Burns, Ms. Scozzafava's campaign spokesman. "Dede being asked to participate in this event — even though it's not being held in her current Assembly district — is another sign leaders from all political parties see Dede as a solid partner in the fight to create jobs and improve the area's economy."


While Ms. Scozzafava's Assembly district does include the Oswego County towns of Sandy Creek, Boylston and Orwell, it does not include the city of Fulton.


Ms. Scozzafava's spokesman said the roundtable discussion also was attended by Assemblyman William A. Barclay, R-Pulaski; Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry Leeman, R-Williamstown; city of Oswego Mayor Randy Bateman, a Democrat; city of Fulton Mayor Ronald L. Woodward Sr., a Republican; and SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley.


It was unclear Friday night if Sen. Gillibrand invited 23rd Congressional District Democratic hopeful William L. Owens or Conservative candidate Douglas L. Hoffman to the discussion. A message left with Mrs. Gillibrand's press office was not returned Friday night.


While Ms. Scozzafava is making headway with Democratic leaders, the same can not be said for Mr. Owens.


Mr. Owens was snubbed, albeit briefly, by U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., on Tuesday, after the Senate's third-highest ranking member slipped, stating he believed that Mr. Owens is not the party's strongest candidate to fill the seat being vacated by Rep. John M. McHugh.


"Obviously, from our side the strongest candidate would have been (Darrel) Aubertine, but he's not going to run. So I don't have much to say about it other than that," Sen. Schumer told reporters when asked to handicap the contest for the 23rd district seat.


Sen. Schumer's office later released a statement endorsing the Plattsburgh attorney. A message left for Mr. Owen's campaign spokesman Brad Katz was not returned Friday.


Later that day, Sen. Schumer visited Ogdensburg for an event on invasive species, which was also attended by Ms. Scozzafava, even though it was not held in her Assembly district. Ms. Scozzafava's campaign staff said she was invited by Mr. Schumer's office.

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