Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is backing the third-party candidate over the Republican nominee in a special election for a New York congressional seat.
Pawlenty said Monday he will support Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the race to fill a vacant seat northern New York even though local Republicans nominated state Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava.
Pawlenty joins other possible 2012 presidential candidates and GOP leaders in breaking ranks.
In doing so, Pawlenty said he agreed more with Hoffman's positions on government spending, taxes and union organizing legislation now before Congress.
Pawlenty has been traveling the country to talk about rebuilding the Republican Party after recent election defeats.
Democrat Bill Owens will also appear on the Nov. 3 ballot.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)