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NY Rep. Stefanik Declares Victory In 21st District

New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik gathered with supporters in Glens Falls Tuesday.
Lucas Willard
New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik gathered with supporters in Glens Falls Tuesday.

Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik declared victory on Election Night, in a rematch of 2018 against Democrat Tedra Cobb.

Elise Stefanik took the stage at an Election Night watch party in a heated tent outside the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls.

“This is your Congressional seat. The people’s seat. And I am so proud to serve as the voice and the vote for the people of New York’s 21st Congressional District,” said Stefanik.

Stefanik stuck to familiar themes in the 2020 campaign. The Republican touted her support for law enforcement and the military – the district is home to Fort Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Division.

But this was also the first race since Stefanik significantly boosted her national profile with her fierce defense of President Donald Trump and attacks on Democrats during the impeachment hearings. This election cycle, Stefanik has served as a "chair" of the president's re-election campaign in New York. 

To put that in perspective, in 2016, Stefanik didn't vote for Trump in the primaries -- she went for John Kasich. In 2018, Stefanik stood next to President Trump at a Defense Bill signing ceremony at Fort Drum. 

Stefanik at her rallies also sharpened her tone and frequently used labels like "Hollywood liberals" and "leftists" to deride Democrats and energize her base .  

Asked about what she’s looking forward to in returning to Washington, Stefanik said she’s focused on the recovery from COVID-19 before the year is over.

“I’m looking forward to making sure that we have a safe and prosperous recovery as we’re overcoming COVID, continuing to safely reopen the economy; supporting our small businesses – getting that additional support needed through the Paycheck Protection Program; making sure that our kids are able to safely learn in schools with K-12 funding – that’s on the immediate to do list,” said Stefanik.

In her second run against Stefanik, Cobb tried to  use Stefanik's name-calling against the her, attempting to frame it as divisive and what leads to gridlock in Washington.

Prior to conceding from her campaign headquarters in Canton, Cobb released a video on Facebook thanking her supporters and keeping the pressure on Stefanik.

“We’re here because everyone deserves to have healthcare. We’re here because people deserve to retire with dignity and have the security of Social Security and Medicare. We’re here because our children and our future, they deserve clean air and clean water. We are in this fight because Elise Stefanik voted against each and every one of those things,” said Cobb.

But despite Cobb’s optimism, unofficial results were strongly in favor of Stefanik – who declared victory with a nearly two-to-one margin. 

Also celebrating at Stefanik HQ Tuesday night was Republican State Assemblyman Dan Stec, who defeated Clinton County Treasurer Kimberly Davis to succeed Betty Little in the 45th State Senate District, who is retiring.  

Little, who recently announced that she was battling breast cancer, was absent Tuesday night. Stec called Little a friend, a role model, and a mentor.

“I believe in public service, hard work, doing the right thing to represent the people you represent and ensuring a better quality of life for everybody.  Right now that’s more important than ever. We have a lot of work ahead of us and in the months to come, from getting our economy back on track to making our neighborhoods more safe and more affordable,” said Stec.

In the race to replace Stec in the Assembly, Matt Simpson, the Republican Town Supervisor from Horicon, celebrated after defeating fellow Warren County Board Member Claudia Braymer, a Democrat of Glens Falls, and former Thurman Supervisor Evelyn Wood on the SAM party line.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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