Dierdre "Dede" Scozzafava has been a member of the New York State Assembly since 1999 and is a member of the Republican Party. Previously she served as Mayor of the Village of Gouverneur from 1993 through 1998. She was appointed Minority Whip and serves on the Assembly Banks, Codes, Ethics and Guidance, Rules, and Ways and Means committees. Scozzafava's political views are outside the mainstream of conservative Republicans. She is pro-choice regarding abortion and supports same-sex marriage.  She voted for Governor David Paterson's 2008-2009 state budget. Additionally, Scozzafava endorsed the 2009 economic stimulus package and cap and trade climate legislation.
Scozzafava is the Republican nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 23rd congressional district for a special election being held November 3, 2009. Public opinion polls show her leading her two chief rivals, Democrat Bill Owens and Conservative Party of New York nominee Doug Hoffman.    Scozzafava has received the endorsements of House Minority Leader John Boehner and the National Republican Congressional Committee. However, she has received virtually no support from the Republican National Committee and her liberal policies have divided the Republican base.  Scozzafava has received the endorsement of Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas; "The most liberal candidate leads (and it's not the Dem)."