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Planned Stefanik Rally Criticized By District Democratic Leaders

Stefanik rally poster
Elise for Congress
/
Facebook
Stefanik poster promoting rally and voter registration drive in Saratoga

All 12 Democratic county chairs in New York’s 21st Congressional District are condemning a move by Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik to host a leading “Stop the Steal” advocate for a campaign event.

Stefanik has invited Scott Presler to headline a rally and voter registration drive in Saratoga on Wednesday evening.

The Democratic county leaders say they are outraged that “she has welcomed a leader of the insurrection that overwhelmed the United States Capitol on January 6.” They cite Presler’s “Stop the Steal” activism, his affiliation with the group ACT for America, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Presler’s anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.

The Democratic leaders want the event canceled.

Stefanik’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but in an email to WAMC, Saratoga County GOP chair Carl Zeilman writes in part “The local Democrat outrage to our grassroots voter registration drive is really about the National Democrat party imploding in front of our eyes … We will be meeting to door knock as was planned and continue to register Republicans at a 2-1 advantage” in the district.

Full statement from Saratoga County GOP Chair Carl Zeilman:

"The local Democrat outrage to our grassroots voter registration drive is really about the National Democrat party imploding in front of our eyes and local Democrats looking for any other distraction to talk about other than their own failed policies that have brought our country into a crisis. They are threatened by Republicans’ historic support in Upstate and all of America. A staffer with RISE PAC tested positive for Covid and they will no longer be coming to Saratoga County. We will be meeting to door knock as was planned and continue to register Republicans at a 2-1 advantage in NY-21 over the Democrats."

Carl Zeilman

Full statement from NY-21 Democratic county chairs:

"We, the undersigned 12 Chairs of Democratic Committees in NY-21, Elise Stefanik’s Congressional District, express our outrage that she has welcomed a leader of the insurrection that overwhelmed the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 to a rally in Saratoga County. This is not what the North Country residents want or support.

Specifically, her guest, Scott Presler, is not only an insurrectionist who was a leading voice in the Big Lie “Stop the Steal” movement that lead to the insurrection, he has a history of close affiliation and leadership with an organization, ACT for America, that the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as a hate group. He peddles wild anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and led a nationwide series of “March Against Sharia” rallies.

The hatred he spews, like these Charlottesville-style events, is not welcome here.

We call upon Elise Stefanik and the Saratoga County GOP, who is also sponsoring this event, to acknowledge that this brand of extremist hate is not what American patriotism is about and is not welcome in NY-21.

We call upon Congresswoman Stefanik, who took an oath to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” to recognize her error in welcoming this provocateur and strongly urge that this event be canceled."

Margaret Bartley, Essex County

Mark Bellardini, St. Lawrence County

Lynne Boecher, Warren County

Lou Burke, Hamilton County

Corey Decillis, Jefferson County

Arelene Feldmeier, Herkimer County

Kathy Fleury, Franklin County

Ed Jasewicz, Fulton County

Todd Kerner, Saratoga County

Jerry Marking, Clinton County

Linda Sandri, Lewis County

Alan Stern, Washington County