The current race for the congressional seat in my home district – New York’s 23rd – is being billed as a test case for the future of the Republican Party. The Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman appears to be pulling even or ahead of his opponents – GOP establishment candidate Dede Scozzafava and Bill Owens, running on the Democratic ticket. Late last night, former New York Republican Governor George Pataki added his name to the growing list of Hoffman endorsements. But lost in the national story about the identity of the GOP are the district’s own issues. In my time.com story today, I explore what the election’s outcome could mean for the swath of upstate known as the North Country.