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Stefanik Will Deliver Republican Address

U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Northern New York GOP Congressional candidate Elise Stefanik is scheduled to deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s weekly address this week. The address comes after recent polling showing Stefanik maintains her lead over her challengers in 21st District.

Stefanik’s campaign announced Thursday the candidate who aims to become the youngest woman elected to Congress will highlight “North Country values” in the weekly GOP radio address.

Stefanik said in a statement, “I am honored to celebrate North Country values before a national audience, and to highlight the clear choice facing the voters of the 21st District.”

In the same release, Stefanik said she would work to repeal and replace Obamacare, overhaul the tax code, and support farmers, small businesses, and veterans.

The text and audio of the address will be released Saturday morning.

Ian Prior, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Stefanik “has caught the eye” of Congressional leadership.

“I think this shows that people recognize that Elise is a future young leader in the Republican party, and somebody that can get things done in the 21st District, which is extremely important.”

In late September, House Speaker John Boehner hosted a fundraiser in Glens Falls for Stefanik.

Ahead of the address, Democratic candidate Aaron Woolf said Stefanik is proving herself a DC insider.

Woolf said, “that the North Country for her is just a stepping stone on a long political ambition, and that she should be focusing on the voters of this district as we are, and not on her DC buddies.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out its own release, calling Stefanik a puppet of the House Speaker and the far right.

DCCC spokesman Marc Brumer…

“The far right wing and the special interests have chosen Stefanik to tell the whole nation about her plans to rubber-stamp their agenda that stacks the deck in their favor, and the ultra-wealthy, by shifting the burden onto hard-working middle class families and seniors. This should be no surprise, though, given that Stefanik has dedicated her whole career to crafting and peddling the far-right wing’s reckless agenda.”

Currently, Stefanik is leading in the polls. The most recent poll from Harper Polling shows Stefanik ahead of Woolf by 8 points. A Siena College poll released in mid-September showed Stefanik ahead of Woolf by 13 points.

Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello grabbed the support of 8 percent of likely voters in the Harper poll, and 10 percent in the Siena poll.

Woolf has claimed his campaign is gaining momentum, while the NRCC dismissed that claim, saying the disparity between the two polls lies largely within the margin of error.

Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg said he’s not certain the attention brought to Stefanik in the Republican address will have a big impact on undecided voters.

“I think what impacts voters more is how they feel about the candidates, how they feel about the candidates’ position on issues. So to the extent that she can use this address to highlight an issue that’s important to swing voters or to her base voters in the 21st CD and that get’s attention in the 21st CD, sure that can help. But it’s just one day in the 30 days left in the campaign.”

The candidates are in the race to replace retiring Democrat Bill Owens.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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