Douglas L. Hoffman conceded for the second time Tuesday in the 23rd Congressional District race and said he will not challenge unofficial results, which show him 3,583 votes behind Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh.
"There seem to have been many vote counting problems, missed vote counts and ... software problems in the computerized voting machines," said the Conservative Party candidate in a letter posted on his campaign Web site. "Despite these incidents, I do not believe the voters of NY-23, or New Yorkers in general, would be well-served by a disruptive and costly recount that would most likely not change the election outcome."
Mr. Owens had 73,098 votes after all 11 county elections boards finished counting ballots Tuesday. Mr. Hoffman had 69,515 votes, while Republican Dierdre K. Scozzafava finished with 8,569 votes. The state Board of Elections is expected to certify results Dec. 15.
Mr. Hoffman gave his first concession on election night, when initial reports from the 11 county elections boards suggested he was trailing Mr. Owens by 5,335 votes. He withdrew that concession Nov. 18 after elections boards re-checked machines and reported him behind by about 3,000 votes.
Mr. Owens extended his lead by about 600 votes when absentees, emergency ballots and votes by affidavit were counted during the past week. He was sworn into office Nov. 6.
Mr. Hoffman, Lake Placid, vowed to challenge Mr. Owens again next year and not Rep. M. Scott Murphy, the Democrat who represents the 20th Congressional District, where Mr. Hoffman lives.
"Within the first hour of being sworn in by Nancy Pelosi, Bill Owens broke four campaign promises," wrote Mr. Hoffman, repeating an erroneous claim first made by the Gouverneur Times. "We must resoundingly defeat him next year. And with your help, I promise to help restore our nation's faith in elected officials when we win."
Mr. Hoffman also apologized for an "unfortunate and poorly worded fundraising e-mail" that implied that election commissioners had "acted improperly" when counting ballots.
"The election commissioners went above and beyond to uphold their duty to ensure a fair election took place," he wrote. "I owe them a debt of gratitude for all they have done."
The candidate made no mention of his earlier accusation that "ACORN, the unions and the Democratic Party" "tampered" with the ballots.
The Conservative Party candidate sent a letter to supporters last week seeking money for a legal challenge of the outcome. The Federal Election Commission said recount funds are legal, but the contributions would have to meet campaign finance limits, and if the money isn't used for a recount it would have to be refunded.
A spokesman for Mr. Hoffman said the campaign didn't know whether it had received any funds or would be returning any money.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.