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Elise Stefanik Holds Ceremonial Swearing-In In Plattsburgh

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Republican Elise Stefanik, the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress at the age of 30, held a ceremonial swearing-in Saturday in her home district in northern New York.

Officials from across New York’s 12-county 21st Congressional District gathered at the Government Center in Plattsburgh to witness former State Supreme Court Justice Jan Plumadore administer the oath of office to Elise Stefanik as the region’s representative in Congress.   “Place your hand on the Bible and raise your hand.” “I Elise M. Stefanik do solemnly swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and to bear true faith and allegiance to same. And that I take this obligation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. And I swear to well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of member of the 114th Congress according to best of my ability so help me God.”  “I know that you will.”

Stefanik felt it was important to include her constituents in what she called an historic proceeding.   “I wanted to make sure that everyone in the district had an opportunity to be a part of this historic event. I’m here to serve the constituents of this district. So it’s most important to make sure that they’re a part of seeing the oath of office being taken. And it’s just a way to make sure that we’re accessible and they’re part of this process. And this is the most important part of the swearing-in is in the district so the constituents can see you take that oath of office and understand that I’ll be working on their behalf.”

Stefanik hails from the town of Willsboro. Town Supervisor Shaun Gilliland met Stefanik early in her campaign.  “She listens. If she doesn’t agree with them she tells them why. And that makes for a great representative. She’s an extremely ethical person and we have not elected somebody whose votes are for sale, that is for darn sure.”

At a reception afterwards, Clinton County Legislator Republican Mark Dame says the ceremonial swearing-in shows Stefanik’s commitment to the region and her potential as a representative.  “Her whole personality speaks of bi-partisanship and that’s how she ran her campaign. And hopefully that’ll rub off to both sides of the aisle in Congress and the executive part of the government and we will get some things done that we can get done.”

At 30, Stefanik is the youngest woman ever to serve Congress. She joked about some misunderstandings that have already occurred on the House floor.  “I do look younger so there were many instances where they didn’t think I was allowed on the House floor. But now I have this trusty pin to make sure that they know I’m a member of Congress!”

Town of Hague Councilman Steve Ramant.  “I think it’s a pretty historic thing when our district can get the youngest Congresswoman in the United States ever to be representing us. She’s got a good agenda and I think she’s a good role model for the young kids in our district and for for old people like me. They can pass the torch onto younger people and go forward with it. I think she’s going to do an excellent job.”

University of New Haven student Nicole Fisher was with Thomas Connor who attends SUNY Plattsburgh. Eighteen-year old Nicole says Stefanik is inspiring her to a political career.  “I think a lot of people see Congress and the general world of the White House as a bunch of older white men with white hair. And she is anything but. So it’s cool to have a woman and she’s younger. She doesn’t fit all of what I see in politics because of course she’s a Republican I’m a Democrat. But it’s just inspiring to see someone who is so much like myself be in that position and be influential. If she’s influencing that much, then I want to influence the next girl. I just find that absolutely amazing.”
Thomas Connor, who is also eighteen,  calls Stefanik an inspiration for their generation.  “Seeing someone who’s a millenial as well, seeing someone who has accomplished so much in such a short span of time is so inspiring. And even though she is from a different party, and I did vote for the other candidate, I believe that her age, her youth, and her status as a woman is only going to help her in Congress. I mean I think one of the things is optimism. I think that’s something a lot of congresspeople lost who have served for years.”  
Republican Elise Stefanik was officially sworn in to her House seat on January 6th to represent New York's 16,000-square mile 21st congressional district.

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