Dede Scozzafava, a prominent New York Republican and former member of the state’s assembly, has joined the administration of newly inaugurated Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. An outspoken supporter of Cuomo’s gubernatorial bid last year, Scozzafava was named deputy secretary for local government at the Department of State on Tuesday.
Scozzafava made national headlines in 2009 with her failed bid for a congressional seat. A supporter of “card check” and President Obama’s health care reform law, Scozzafava, the Republican nominee, faced strong opposition from New York’s Conservative Party.
FreedomWorks and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin both supported Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the race while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New York Republican Rep. Peter King backed Scozzafava. Down in the polls, Scozzafava dropped out of the race just days before the election and threw her support behind Bill Owens, the Democratic candidate. Owens went on to narrowly win the election.
Scozzafava did not run for re-election in 2010, and supported Democrat Brian McGrath’s unsuccessful campaign to replace her in the state assembly.