Although the election is not until November 2018, four Democrats have already entered the race to challenge northern New York’s two-term Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. The first to announce began his campaign in January. Patrick Nelson of Stillwater says he started campaigning early for several reasons.
“Number one being the sheer size of the 21st Congressional district. I think it’s the 4th largest east of the Mississippi, certainly the largest in the state of New York. And the other reason was that we adopted a ‘shadow Congress’ strategy where we’ve been tracking along major pieces of legislation before the House. And we wanted to be active early in the new administration, during the first 100 days, to use the bully pulpit of the campaign to advocate on behalf of things like protecting the health care of some 70,000 residents of the 21st Congressional district.”
During a visit to Plattsburgh in July, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik was confident when asked about the growing number of Democrats stepping up to challenge her. “I’ve been through campaigns before. I’ve been through hard fought campaigns and I’ve won them significantly. And I’m going to be running on my strong record of independent and proven leadership for this district.”
Three other people are seeking the Democratic nomination. In late June, Katie Wilson from Keene entered the race. In July, Tedra Cobb of Canton and Emily Martz of Saranac Lake announced their campaigns.