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Scozzafava to Switch Parties? (Updated)

12:29 PM, Oct 16, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Will Dede Scozzafava, the liberal Republican running in the November 3 special election for Army Secretary John McHugh's open upstate New York seat, stay in the Republican party in the (unlikely) event that she wins? Would she run in 2010 as a Republican-facing what would likely be a tough primary? Or would she pull a Specter?

Her spokesman Matthew Burns won't say. Asked via email if Scozzafava would commit to running in a Republican primary in 2010, Burns replied last night, "Dede is focused on the election that is Nov. 3."

He wrote that Scozzafava currently "is a vote for Rep. Boehner" to be speaker of the House. But what happens if she loses a Republican primary in 2010? Would she run as a Democrat or an independent who caucuses with the Democrats? Burns was unwilling to make any future commitments, writing, "will you be working at the Weekly Standard in 2011?" In other words: Who knows what the future will bring? Dede doesn't.

Both a social and economic liberal, Scozzafava would side with the Democrats on many key votes. Her spokesman Burns even declined to say whether or not she'd vote for H.R. 3200, the House version of Obamacare.

It's clear why left-wing blogger Markos Moulitsas, the founder of Daily Kos, has endorsed Scozzafava. But why is so much of the GOP establishment on her side?

Update at 1:41 p.m.: I just got a call from Scozzafava spokesman Matthew Burns. He now says:

"If Dede Scozzafava is in Congress in 2011, she is a vote for John Boehner to be speaker of the House of Representatives."

Update at 2:32 p.m.: Burns adds that Scozzafava would run in the Republican primary in 2010 if challenged. He declined to say whether or not Scozzafava was open to running as an independent if she lost the primary.